||Daiichi 1260 or similar, size 8-12
||Black or olive 6/0 or 8/0
||Blank or olive fine rubber leg material
||Olive-yellow dubbing, shaggy
||Fine olive v-rib or other vinyl ribbing material
||Dark Turkey, with a few strands of crystal flash
||Monofilament or tiny "dumb bells"
||.015 lead wraps
Bill's Simple Stonefly
(Yuba River Version)
If you were
born a “squalla” stonefly in the Lower Yuba River, spring would be a
time of immense danger for you. Beginning in January (sometimes a
little earlier) these little stoneflies become the insect de jour
for Lower Yuba River fish–steelhead and trout. Other insects remain
important to the fish (caddis, and maybe even mayfly species), but
stoneflies predominate their menu. As the larvae crawl amidst
submerged rocks and debris, their piscatorial predator feasts on
them. Imitation of this larval behavior pattern through proper drift
and depth control is crucial. Your fly must, in other words, drift
naturally at or close to the bottom.
Larvae are dark in color, shaded with an olive-yellow hue. This
month’s stonefly pattern is “generic” in that it can be used for any
color or size of stonefly. It serves as an excellent imitation for
the golden stone, as well as black species. The fly can be tied with
or without a bead. For simplicity, the bead is omitted here.
The adults begin hatching in mid- to late February. Next month we’ll
feature a stimulator pattern that seems to work well on the Yuba.
- Apply between 5 and 10 wraps of lead where the thorax will
later be tied. Cover it with Flexament and wrap it tightly with
thread, securing it front and rear.
- Cut about 1 inch of fine rubber leg material from a strand.
Fold it in half and, with the loop to the rear, tie it in just
above the barb. Don’t cut it yet, as the rest of the fly is easier
to tie with it intact.
- Tie in the ribbing material at the same point, and let it hang
to the rear out of the way.
- Tie in a dubbing loop at the same point, and move the thread
to the front of the hook.
- Using a dubbing loop tool, create a shaggy “rope” of dubbing
by filling the loop with the dubbing material and twisting the
- Wrap the “rope” forward to the rear of the lead and tie it
- Wind the ribbing material forward to the same point. Use only
3 to 5 wraps, depending on hook size. Tie it off securely and add
a drop of super glue to the wraps.
- Using a piece of velcro (hook side), tease the dubbing out
from beneath the ribbing, creating a shaggy look. Trim the bottom
and top of the abdomen, and then the sides. The finished product
should have a taper to the tail area.
- Cut a few strands of crystal flash and tie them in on top of
the lead, with the ends pointing to the rear. Tie in a piece of
dark turkey approximately 1/4" wide on top of the lead; wrap it
down well, making sure that there is no gap between the abdomen
and the rearmost spot where the turkey is wrapped.
- Dub the thorax, using a bit more dubbing than was used for the
abdomen...the thorax should be more robust than the abdomen.
- Tie in another loop of rubber leg material just behind the
eye, with the loop facing out over the eye. Don’t cut the loop
- Tie in a pair of mono eyes behind the eye at the same spot.
- Strip the fuzz from a hen feather. Then cut the stem about
midway down its axis, leaving a “v” shaped remnant. Place this
remnant on top of the thorax, with the concave side down. This
will represent the legs. Tie it down just behind the eye of the
- Bring the turkey over the top of the thorax and tie it down
behind the eye. Bring the crystal flash over the top and tie it
down at the same spot. Place a bit of dubbing over the tie-in spot
and whip finish. Place a small drop of super glue over the thread
- Cut the rubber leg material loop at the rear in half to form
the tails, and shorten them to about ½ shank length. Cut the loop
at the front, leaving the antennae long. That’s it.
Sounds more complicated than it is.