Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Miracle Nymph


 The miracle nymph is a midge pattern which Ed Engle describes as "A  famous south Platte midge pattern."  It was created back in the early 70s by Ed Marsh. He also created the buckskin.  The miracle can be fished any way imaginable and is deadly on sipping, midging trout.  In both still and moving water. This pattern works well all over the country. Brooks, Browns, and Rainbows, all fall for the miracle.  I commonly use it as a dropper on my rigs when I fish midge dominated waters such as limestone streams.


The pattern utilizes floss to give depth to the body.  The white floss get wet and the thread under body bleeds through.  Giving the fly a nice translucent body. The floss is protected by a rib of copper or gold wire. The head is just a simple black thread head.  Different color under bodies can be quite effective as well. Red, and yellow for example can extremely effective at times. The head should be black no matter the color of the body. A light wire hook is recommended for this pattern. I prefer emerger hooks, for the light wire and wider gap. Also the shanks are short, so you can tie a size 24 on a size 20
 This is what the miracle nymph looks like wet.

A dry Red miracle nymph
A wet red miracle nymph



The Great A.K. Best, well known for his quill body flies, tied the biot miracle nymph. He subs out the floss and wire for a white goose biot. The fly has great segmentation but the translucently takes longer to  work then with floss.  When the fly is wet like shown in the picture you can see the black under body, giving the fly a secondary rib effect.  Once the fly is thoroughly soaked is does have a really nice translucency.   The biot is strong and durable enough that it does not require a rib.  This fly is a fish catcher 100% wild brown trout approved


Here to left is a the biot miracle nymph wet.












Here is a pink biot miracle. 
And below is me tying the original Miracle nymph enjoy.
Tight Ties everybody.
 


Flying after Irene, Spring creek assesment. 8/30/11

Yesterday was a gorgeous day. I had to do some clean up from Irene in morning and afternoon. My daughter had cheering practice, so when I dropped her off at practice I snuck out for a hour to my favorite New Jersey spring creek to asses how much the old girl had changed. And of  coarse to catch some wild trout!

I decided to a short stretch that had some deeper pools. I wanted to see if they filled in or got any deeper. Well the on has a nice huge oak tree laid across it. So fishing here means losing flies for fish. The plus of the tree laid across was it caused the water to dig the bed out under it, making the pool deeper. The other pool in this section looked fine. The water was flowing a little high and just a tad off color. Prime nymphing water.

So I tied on the Golden Oldie and U.V. diamond scud. I decided to not fool around with the pools seeing by this point I had only 40 mins left. So short  on time and the presser on (its been a very long time since I got the stinky badger ) I decided it best to work the runs. I peeled off some line and began working it into the air. I shot it back and then over shot the run and put my rig in a stream lined bush. I laughed and thought well, Im not getting anybody out of this run, because I'm not losing my rig. So after I retrieved the rig I set my sights on a newer run ahead.

A tree had got lodged in the bed and  it made a real nice run next to it and a mini pool at the end of it. I launched a cast into the pool area first. Boom, a little wild brown crushed the flies, he jumped and he was gone. I laughed again, thinking I'm having "one of those days".  With 20mins left I sent another drift into the pool. Boom again, another wild brown and I got this one in. I got the phone cam ready and flip, he escaped....  I moved up to the run along the log. This spot looked beyond fishy. I set a drift in, another, another and several more.  With a nobody home I moved up to the next the run. I took a moment to check my rig, I didnt want anything else to go a rye.  Rig checked out okay, so I set a cast right above the heart of the run. It came into the heart and boom, fish on. This one I got in and he was very photogenic. It was now time to pick up my daughter.

 The Golden Oldie strikes again.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The effects of Irene on New Jersey's stream and some eastern pennsylvania

My little spring creek got blown out big time by Irene as well as the entire tri-state area. I expected this. With over 11" in rain in less than 18 hours. The mighty musconetcong  topped off today at close to 9000 cfs! That is amazing. This of coarse  caused major flooding in hacketstown and down the rest of the valley.

Many of the streams in the tri-state area beat beat there records with the help of Irene. With all this water you can bet your favorite streams layout will be changed. This is something that intrigues me. It will give you the chance to relearn your well known stream.

I cant wait to get out and see how much my local streams have changed with all the excessive flow

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The Floating Nymph

The floating nymph is an essential fly for every fly box. Its possibly the deadliest emerger pattern. These patterns should be in every dry flyers arsenal. There are several species of mayflies which the nymph floats in the film while the dun emerges. So there is a time in there emergence when the nymph is just riding in the film. The trout love emergers, and they will feed on them exclusively. Not only is it a great hatch matcher, Its also a fabulous searching pattern. If trout are rising and I dont have a clue what they are eating. I use either a floating nymph or an ant. I havnt met a stream yet that its not deadly on the trout.

My favorite floating nymph is the floating pheasant tail nymph. Yup even floating the the pheasant tail nymph is still deadly. Other floating nymphs I like to use are thread body ones. They will sit right down in the film and there simple and quick to tie.

As I write this Irene is a blowing away, shaking my house. Hope the old girl holds up. Major amounts of rain have fallen already. The tri-state area is flooded for sure.

Heres a video of how to tie one with a post for a wing. Its a parachute pheasant tail nymph. I will do a video of the other parachute post method. Both are effect ties. Check it out and please subscribe or follow me, I will have many more videos to come.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prehurricane Trout Part 2

When I awoke, I was happy to see it was not raining. So I had a quick breakfast, and got some things done that needed to be down in prep for heavy rains. I got to the stream a little after 10am. I decide to hit my local spring creek. The water here is very cold all year, and in the summer it never goes above 65-67. Most times it holds at 63. The warm tropical and humidity from Irene, was causing the cold water to condensate into the air.

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A New Jersey Spring Creek Fogged.

I enjoy it very much when I get to fly in the creek fog. It makes me feel closer to the stream and the rest of the flora and fauna around me. I watched a section of stream for ring makers. Of coarse the creek fog made this a bit challenging on the eyes. It wasn't to long before I saw rings. I tied on a parachute ant. My long favorite dry fly for summer months. The ant did the trick as I expected. I picked up 3 from the tail of run.

I then moved to one more area as Irene's outer reaches began coming in. The sky was getting pretty dark.....But there was trout rising, so a drifting I went. The ant picked up one. There were several trout rising in this area. I look at the film for a bit, didn't see anything. So when I got the trout in, I got a throat sample. It what I suspected. Lets see if you can guess..... Its about 12pm, its, cloudy and rainy. Im at the tail end of a flat run, with riffles leading into it. Any Idea??

Yes...Bwo's of some species. About a size 18. They were emerging from the riffle, nothing heavy but enough to peak the trout interest. I tied on the floating nymph, and the fun was on. I got several trout before the rain started. I b-lined it for the car to dodge Irene. I took some pics of the browns that had the most red to them.
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I hope everyone here in the great north east get through Irene, with out to much trouble. Be safe.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Improved zug bug video.

  Watch and subscribe or friend me  Enjoy. Thank you.


New Jersey Spring Creek Prehurricane trout.

Got out for a very short time this morning. With not much time I went to a set of riffles I know produces well.  With my Golden Oldie and U.V. Diamond scud on my line, I rolled one up and into the head of the riffle. Boom.  A nice wild brown. Two drifts later another.  I moved up stream to the final riffle, time was running out. I got one more out of this riffle before time was up.  All three wild browns took the Golden Oldie.  With the sun coming out stronger and stronger, I retired back to the car.

A beautiful little wild brown. Nice reds on this fellow.
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Zug Bug....What a bug!! and the improved zug

The Zug Bug was invented by Cliff Zug as a caddis fly imitation, it can be deadly. While it works very well for that purpose it also works well in any number of fishy situations as a prospector, dropper, and even as a wet fly on the swing. I have enjoyed countless fish on the old zug bug. Hands down its easily one of the top 10 nymph fly patterns of all time. I put it #3 next to the pheasant tail #1 and the hares ear #2.

The zug is an old pattern dating back to the 30s. Its still just as effective today as it was back when the fly was developed. Many people have forgotten about this gem of a pattern, but not me. I will never be without zug bugs.

The original pattern calls for peacock swords for the tail, A body of peacock hurl, a silver tinsel rib, brown hen hackle, and a wood duck flank feather for the wing case. No doubt that the original pattern is extremely effective. I have fished this recipe for many years and so have many others with great success.

If you don't have zug bugs in your vest or box, then get tying or buying. Your missing a guaranteed fish catcher. Tie some up and next time you go out, go zuggin'

Now that the history and selling of the zug is over. I will tell about my improved zug bug. The improved zug bug looks almost identical to the original, except it is sparser, more durable, and has better action. Here is the recipe and a tutorial.


THE IMPROVED ZUG BUG
Hook- My favorite zug hook is the mustad 3906/S80. I have been using this hook for years with no complaints to date.

Thread-Black 8/0, but fire orange, purple, and yellow add to the attraction of the pattern, other colors such as brown, and olive, can be used for more natural looks.

Tail- Peacock swords, they bunch up under water and give the fly a great taper.

Body- 2 peacock hurl taken from close to the center of peacock eye. You want the shorts hurl fibers. 2 hurls for size #14 & #16, 3 hurls for 10s and 12s. 1 hurl for 18s on down.

Rib- Fine Holographic silver tinsel and fine or xsmall silver wire.

Wing case- Natural mallard.

Hackle- Died brown Hungarian partridge very sparse and clipped on top.

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start near the eye and wrap back to the barb.

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Tie in about 3-4 peacock swords, let the tips extend past the bend by about 2/3 the shank length. tie down to the front stop and trim excess at about 2 hooks eye from the eye.

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Tie in your silver holographic tinsel. Tie it down wrapping back to the barb. Bring thread forward.

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Tie in your wire, wrapping back to the barb. Leave thread here.

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Tie in your peacock hurl by the tips. Tie in the tips while wrapping to the eye. Bring thread back to the two hook eyes point.

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counter wrap your peacock(wrap it the opposite way you wrap your thread), do not over lap. wrap your peacock til you reach your thread. Tie down and trim your excess.

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Now bring your silver holographic tinsel up through. Wrap the same way you wrap your thread. Nice open spaced turns. Tie it down and trim the excess.

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Now rib the wire, Wrap it exactly on top of the tinsel. You can do this just by wrapping the same way. Tie it down and bend and break off the wire

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Now select a brown partridge hackle from the shoulder of the bird. Strip off the fluff at the bottom of the bottom of the feather. Hold just the tip of the feather, and stroke the remaining fibers back. Tie the feather in by the tip.

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Take one complete turn of hackle, as you turn push the hackles back. tie it down and trim the excess. Now push the side hackle down and trim off the top hackles.

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Select a nice mallard flank feather. Strip off the fluff and run your finger nail up the convex side of the feather. This will make tying it in a lot easier.

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Tie in your feather. You want the thread to lay right against stem where the mallard flank fibers and stem meet. Wrap forward tying it down. stop two turns from the eye. Trim the excess. And wrap back to the tie in point of the feather.

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Whip finish. Be sure on the last two steps your and the entire fly and what ever fly you tie that your wrapping tightly. You dont want that mallard feather coming out.

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trim your feather. Keep your scissor square across the back and snip. Snip the feather at about the middle of the shank. Take some sallys and coat the head and run a small bit up the quill of the mallard feather. This will make the feather near indestructible.

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Top view of the completed fly.

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Your completed improved zug bug.

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Partridge does not clump together when wet like hen does.

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It does when out of the water, but that doesnt matter.

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A wood duck flank feather.

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The zug bug.

Tight Ties
Johnny U.



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This brown liked the improved zug bug.

U.V. Resins Review. Clear cure goo, bug-bond and clear cure fly finish.

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U.V cure resins.
 The introduction of these product to the world of fly tying has made a major impact. They hold 1 great advantage over epoxy and that is the cure time. Each one cures in a matter of seconds. Other advantages are no mixing. No in between time to get the resin on and cure it. Because you use uv light to cure the product, you have limitless time to shape, spread and coat your creations.
I use these products for making cases on nymph backs, doing "epoxy back flies", and for coating fly heads.

 One of my patterns in particular uses the resin over the entire back of the fly. I used this pattern to test out each of the resins. I fished the pattern with each product on them for 4 weeks straight,(total 12 weeks) and got results that I want to share with everyone who cares to read my blog. I will cover price to product quantity, performance, ease of use Ie containers and applicators, and availability.

 There are 3 competitors in this market of new interest to fly tiers. They are loon uv clear fly finish, bug-bond multipurpose uv cure resin, and clear cure goo aka c.c.g. I think everyone knows of the company loon. Loon as you already know or may not know is an excellent company. There products are well researched and come at good prices. Bug-bond is a relatively new company. Based over seas in the U.K., from what I can tell they are only in the u.v. game. Clear Cure Goo, is also a relatively new company. They popped up in recent years and are being pushed hard as a U.S. based company. They push there product mainly as a salt water fly product. But they also promote fresh water applications.

 Here are the numbers for cost and quantity. All prices are full retail price. And I listed them in order for most product for the best price.

 Loon- 59.15 ml for $22.88- Loon does not have a kit available. There light retails for $34.95 but you can find it cheaper. So your looking at a possible kit of $57.83.

 Bug-bond- 20ml for $25.50 at white water flies. There kit goes for $47.95. The kit comes with a 20ml bottle and a u.v. light. Bug bond also makes a power light. It is much more powerful than the light which comes with the kit. They call it there uv torch. It retails for $57.73 and I believe is only available in the U.K.**** update, white water flies now carries the torch light, you can even get it in a kit.****

 C.C.G.- 10cc/10ml syringe for $13.50. They have a 15ml bottle for $17.00. There kit retails for 49.99 and it comes with two syringes so you get 20mls and you get there light. There light retails separately for $30.00.

 Summary- Its quite simple to tell that Loon crushes the competition with 59.15ml@ $22.88. compared to bug-bond at 20ml@ $25.50 and c.c.g. at 15ml@ $17.00.
Loon- $0.39 a ml
Bug-bond- $0.79 a ml
Clear Cure Goo- $0.88 a ml

Here I will cover ease of use and availability

 Loon- The resin is very easy to work with. The bottle is large and is easy to handle. It sits perfectly up right and is easy to have on your bench. A brush of okay quality is included as well as a cap to make the bottle a squeeze bottle. The brush works well for large jobs, and the squeeze bottle adapter is very convenient for the small jobs. Both the brush and the squeeze bottle applicator screw on to the bottle. Loon can easily be found on-line and in many fly shops across the country.

 Bug-bond- Bug bond resin itself is very easy to work with. The bottle is a small to medium size bottle that is easy to work with and easy to keep upright on your tying bench. The bottle itself is a squeeze bottle applicator. You simple snip the tip and your ready to start. The brush is a screw on cap for the bottle, and the squeeze bottle tip is apart of the bottle and the cap screws on securely to cover. They also make a brush applicator that is an okay brush. And it is the same as the loon. Bug-bond is a product of the U.K. so its availability in the U.S.A. is very limited. Although a quick search on line and you can find it, with free shipping to boot. I am unaware of any actual store front fly shops that carry bug-bond here in the U.S.A.

 Clear Cure Goo- Clear cure makes several different consistence of resin. Each one is easy to use and work with. The syringe are very uncomfortable to use and next to impossible to store or keep on your bench. There bottles are small. They are easy to use, store and keep on your bench. They have several different application bottles, there is one with no applicator, the method would be to use your bodkin. They make a squeeze bottle applicator, which is nice and easy to use. They also make a brush applicator bottle. The brush is the same story as the loon and bug bond. The syringe and the squeeze bottle have a little rubber cap to cover the application tip, it does not screw on. C.c.g. is taking the country by storm. You can find the product very easily on-line and and many fly shops are starting to carry the product.

 Summery- Loon's bottle has it all in one, and is easily found. Bug-bond's bottles either come with a squeeze (very nice) or brush, and is not so easily found here in the U.S.A. C.c.g. syringes are very inconvenient. There bottles are nice and you either get a squeeze bottle(nice) or the brush bottle or no applicator bottle. The rubber caps to cover the tips are easily knocked off and do little to keep excess goo form oozing out.

 Here I will cover the performance of each product. I cured each product with there own light and fished the pattern fly for 3 weeks straight. Bouncing bottom the whole way in the rocky streams of eastern pa and western N.J. (yes, it got snagged and yes I went swimming. Brr was that cold in the winter)

 Loon- Loon cures is fully cured in under 8 seconds with there power light. It adheres to nearly anything. Goes on clear, cures clear with no residues. In my fly testing loon performed flawlessly.

 Bug-bond- bug-bond cures fully in less than 5 seconds with there torch. 10 seconds with the standard light that is included in the kit. It will adhere to almost anything. Bug-bond when cured has a slight residue left behind. It is not sticky and will evaporate in a short time. About the time it takes you tie another fly. In my fly testing bug-bond performed flawlessly.

 Clear Cure Goo- C.c.g. cures in less than 10 seconds with there light. It will adhere to almost anything. C.c.g. when fully cured does leave a residue behind. It's slightly tacky, so dubbin particle will adhere. It doesn't seem to dissipate in any quick fashion. This is true for both the thin and thick. The flex cured with a slightly oily residue, not sticky at all, very similar to bug-bond residue. In my fly testing c.c.g. had problems. The flex came clean off the nymph. Both the thin and the thick turned white after only a 2 days.

Summary- Loon performed great, as well as Bug-bond. C.C.G. didn't do so hot.


 I hope this helps anyone who is interested in purchasing u.v. cures. My results say much about the companies and there product. While I do like bug-bond a lot, I will be sticking with loon clear fly finish. That is if I ever finish the bottle. 59.15 ml has lasted me many dozens of flies and I think I may have finally put a dent in the bottle. As for c.c.g. I say buyer beware.

Tight Ties
Johnny Utah.

Additional info- I have continued use of the u.v. resins. Still working on finishing that loon bottle! I recommend with all the resins you give them more cure time. The times i listed above are all manufacture cure times.  I have found that each one does take additional u.v exposure to fully cure. 

 1/18/12  I have a bottle of bug bond thin on the way, and will be purchasing the c.c.g. hydros to test out through the next couple of months. I will report back the details.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pennsylvania Freestone fishing.

Well got out this brisk morning for some nymphing with two companions. We met up about mid morning and headed off to one of the best pa freestone streams around. The morning started off very well with my friend getting into two right away, with a #8 rubber legged copper John. I tied this fly for him because we were curious if a huge copper john would work well. It did.

We pressed on up stream going a distance with no fish. Arriving at a spot well known to us to hold a large trout. I cast into the likely area with my golden oldie and improved zug bug. It got near the end of the run and boom fish on. Well 4 shakes of thunder and the monster was off. Darn.

Pressing on up stream I picked up a couple of dinks here and there. A 50/50 split on the zug and the G.O.. My friend had gotten into a couple as well. With a decent piece of water covered, we were a little disappointed at the fish count so far. Normally we catch more through the area, but with "more than four" it wasn't all that bad.

We moved up into a really nice pool section. I opted to take the eddie of the pool. I had a good feeling about that slack back current. My Friend and I both agreed that I would likely pull a rainbow out this spot. The stream has a good wild population but it is stocked. So the occasional hold over is caught. I put about four drifts in and on that fourth drift. I got my flies to sit in the dead of the eddie. I twitched them every so often. I observed my strike indicator begin to move out of the dead water of the eddie and into the current flowing to the tail out. I lifted the road ever so gently, I seen the line start to tighten up as I lifted the rod. I set the hook. And BOOM. The fight was on.

Intrigued by my obvious excitement and bent rod. My friend asked what I had on. I said I'm not sure but it has shoulders. He said did you see it yet, I said nope. Just then the fish made a dart to the top and toward the tail out. It got into some sunlight protruding through the trees, and my one friend and I caught a glimpse at what it was. We both saw the honey brown and spots. The trout dogged back down to the bottom. Typical brown fight. Just then my other friend said well what is it. I quickly said its a sucker. A sucker really he said. I said no its a big brown, and we all laughed.

The brown fought well, and was easily landed. A beautiful 20"+ wild male brown trout. This fellow took the improved zug bug. I will run up a post on the improved zug bug. I made some miner changes to the zug, thus why I call it the improved zug.

We moved up stream picking up trout here and there. All in all it was an okay day. I think the high pressure and sun put the wild browns off there bight. But I was happy if i only caught that hog.

Tight Ties
Johnny U.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rubber legs...Do they make a fly pattern more effective?

Rubber legs are rather new to the fly tying world. Many old standard pattern have had the legs added to them. I have tied and fished rubber leg patterns, with ok success. I don't think they really are more effective than say partridge. Other than you can get a thicker profile of legs with the rubber.

I have been using life flex from hareline and I must say I do like the material, but I truly do prefer natural materials.(other than dubbin, I like synthetics and naturals) I have tied the Golden Oldie with rubber legs, instead of partridge. I gave it a fair test of fishing with it for 2 weeks. The results were low. I didn't catch nearly as many trout with the rubber leg version as I do with the standard version.

A downer of the rubber is that Ive yet to find or hear of any that can last very long.

I welcome and ask for your comments on the subject of rubber legs. Have you found them more effective???

Friday, August 19, 2011

Nymphs, Mayflies and Stones

Here is some pics of nymphs I have collected
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Mr Iso
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Take a look at the tail here. Its translucent but certainly a visible triangle. Something other iso imitations lack.

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The white line is only visible on thorax.

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The cahill nymph

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The underside is many shades lighter than top. Should nymphs be tied in the round????? I don't think many of them should be....BUT the pheasant tail nymph is almost all in the round and it kills.

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These are both stone fly nymphs. The one on the left had a very defined white line going down its the center of its body. The one to the right is a very common stone. (my golden oldie is a great imitation of this fellow)

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Here's the underside of the stones. The triangle stone(i'm not sure what these stones are, I believe they are the winter or early stones) would and I do tie this one in the round, other than the white line. Its rather an effective imitation on the streams I have found these nymphs living in.