Stone fly imitations, while they will work all year round, they become even more effective in hatch time. At this time the mature nymphs become quit active and by doing so they become more available for the trout to gobble up. The vast majority of stone flies crawl to the edge of streams or in streams debri structures to climb out of the water to hatch. What does this mean to fly fisherman? This means trout will stage along banks and structures waiting for the nymphs come to them. Next time your on the stream, pay close attention to sand bars and work those banks.
It is now January, and the little black stones and the tiny black stones are making there presence known. For the little aka early black stone I use my willow stone imitation but as of late I have been nymphing with an fly pattern I know call the my simple stone. It is designed to imitate the tiny black stones found on many streams in the area. Many winter fly fisherman fail to notice them and many mistakenly call a flying adult a midge. After all, they are tiny.
I am a firm believer that simple is best when it comes to effective flies for trout, and the simple stone fits that bill. All you need is thread, midge ice braid, and very small rubber, for the legs. So lets twist one up already!
Hook- Daiichi 1550 #16
Thread- Montana fly co Midge body thread black
Abdomen- Tying thread
Thorax- Tying thread
Wing case- Midge ice braid, root beer
Legs- micro rubber, senyo's shaggy dub works great, black
Start the thread back two hook eye lengths from the eye and wind back to the barb and then back to where you started.
Wrap the thread forward and back till you even out the thorax. Dont worry if its kinda bumpy at this point.
Now bring the braid over the top, and give a good pull as you bring it over to flatten it out. Tie it down with two turns on and one in front. Snipe the excess and wipe finish.
Now trim the legs, I like to trim the back legs to just past the abdomen, and the front legs I trim just beyond the eye of the hook. You dont want long legs as they will just get tangled in the bend of the hook.
You now have a simple little stone fly. Fish them slow on the bottom and be sure to cast them near banks, and be ready for some hard strikes! But pay close attention cause some of those strikes are super light.
This 18" brown took the simple stone, no doubt this brown grew as large as he has by eating many stone flies over the coarse of his life.