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Thread: a few simple stonefly nymphs

  1. #1

    Default a few simple stonefly nymphs

    here are a few variations of black, brown & golden stonefly nymphs...



    this is a black getting ready to "emerge"...just picked out the turkey fan wing case a bit to simulate growing to next phase...



    here is a shorter version...with a lead wire core in lieu of a cone or bead head...this one could also have a hackle spiral tied off on the eye...one of my favorites in dropper rigs...



    here is a brown version...using some pheasant feathers for the wing case...the brown could also be substituted for a golden amber color dubbing for golden stone pattern...

    materials used for the above...

    brown or black buffalo wool for dubbing...
    .015 gold wire for spiral wrap...
    turkey fan feather for wing case(on black)...
    pheasant body feather for wing case(on brown)...
    goose biots for tail and antennae...
    brown or ginger hackle for legs etc...
    size 4-6 caddis hook for black...
    size 2-6 nymph hook for brown...
    Last edited by silvertip8k; 03-13-2013 at 11:50 AM.

    ted...trout bum/wandering monk
    public water 20"er
    public land pope & young

    Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à f́reach - mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire.
    a fish from the river, a rod from the woods and a stag from the mountain , thefts ne'er a Gael was ashamed
    ...and old gaelic proverb...

    my blog & website
    http://wmflyrodco.com/

  2. #2
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    Default Re: a few simple stonefly nymphs

    That last one is real nice. The length and proportions are nice, and I like that wing pad a lot. But I wouldn't worry about changing the color. Stonefly nymphs don't usually display as much color variation as the adults. Light tan and brown usually get by for most.

    Around here you see a lot green stonefly nymphs for the Skwala because the adults often show some green but the nymphs are light tan. Same with the salmonfly, most patterns feature a bright orange abdomen but the actual bugs do not. I guess it doesn't hurt, it might be a trigger for fish that have seen adults on the water, but as you know, the nymph doesn't "emerge" and show it's adult colors in the water. So if you are fishing stonefly nymphs, it is prior to a hatch and the predominant adult color isn't seen by fish under water. I think it's more of sales gimmick.

  3. #3

    Default Re: a few simple stonefly nymphs

    all the goldens I have seined before in Colorado were all brown too...just a tiny bit of gold tips in the legs and abdomen...the reason I knew they were goldens is because an entomologist friend verified it for me...everyone fishes the sallys etc that are all yellow...but I think you are right...brown with some gold wire is probably all you need...if that...the reddish brown hackle more than likely does the job...

    I have caught more fish on the black ones with the hackle...even in "golden" territory...

    my friend told me that the nymphs cant actually swim...so tying the droppers on to the hook curve wasnt so good an idea because the nymph would flow through the water more evenly , not natural...he told me when they fell off a branch or whatever they were clinging onto they went pretty erratic...a tell tsle marker for a predator...so after that I always tied my droppers to the nymphs eye...so the nymph moved more erratic??

    I like the pheaseant feathers a lot...in the water the move just like a hackle a bit...

    ted...trout bum/wandering monk
    public water 20"er
    public land pope & young

    Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à f́reach - mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire.
    a fish from the river, a rod from the woods and a stag from the mountain , thefts ne'er a Gael was ashamed
    ...and old gaelic proverb...

    my blog & website
    http://wmflyrodco.com/

  4. Likes littledavid123, dean_mt liked this post
  5. #4
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    Default Re: a few simple stonefly nymphs

    Thanks for sharing! I've been using a simple black hare's ear with a lead core to simulate the early black stoneflies around here. You've give me some good ideas on how to better match the hatch.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: a few simple stonefly nymphs

    Quote Originally Posted by diamond rush View Post
    Thanks for sharing! I've been using a simple black hare's ear with a lead core to simulate the early black stoneflies around here. You've give me some good ideas on how to better match the hatch.
    To be clear on what both silvertip and I are discussing, when fishing stonefly nymphs, there is no "hatch to match."

    Stoneflies are predator nymphs that crawl along the rocks all the way out of the water where the winged "adult" breaks out of its exoskeleton. The wings uncurl and dry in the sun and then they take flight. It's pretty cool to watch and easy to find happening during a big hatch of salmonflies, they are usually all over the stream side vegetation.

    So your hare's ear nymph is actually a great imitation of a stonefly nymph, make them black, brown and light natural hare's ear - which is a really excellent match to the many light colored stone nymphs.

    ---my friend told me that the nymphs cant actually swim...so tying the droppers on to the hook curve wasnt so good an idea because the nymph would flow through the water more evenly , not natural.----

    silvertip: they may not swim but they do drift. Most all nymphs release from the bottom and drift at specific times each day. Ask you entomologist friend, but I believe it is natures way of dispersing a species. It is known as "behavioral drift" and Gary LaFontaine witnessed and studied it. He developed a stonefly nymph to imitate the posture of the natural by weighting the abdomen of the fly and making the thorax with spun and clipped deer hair for bulk and buoyancy. This way the fly drifts tail down, head up like a natural. And the opposite of the ubiquitous and accepted beadhead! Try it out, easy to tie, nothing fancy, and it works. I like the pattern a lot.

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  8. #6

    Default Re: a few simple stonefly nymphs

    I never liked beadheads anyway...sometimes tying the nymph "backwards" would be an option??...having the head at the beginning of the curved part of the hook...leaving the weight off and the weight of the hook acting as the ballast...but that would be an experiment...

    since I rarely use stones by themselves...usually as the top fly in a dropper rig, I just want them to apear as they might at the outset of their journey downstream...but my thoughts about tying a dropper to the hook in the rear might have to be re-assessed??...

    however success is relevant here...I do pretty well...and cant imagine it getting much better if I am in a place that holds nice fish...but I am willing to try !

    thanks for the remarks...it is for sure the way to learn stuff...

    ted...trout bum/wandering monk
    public water 20"er
    public land pope & young

    Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à f́reach - mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire.
    a fish from the river, a rod from the woods and a stag from the mountain , thefts ne'er a Gael was ashamed
    ...and old gaelic proverb...

    my blog & website
    http://wmflyrodco.com/

  9. Likes mcnerney liked this post
  10. #7
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    Default Re: a few simple stonefly nymphs

    Well I'm not sure what you are picturing but if you put the head at the bend it going to be drifting upside down isn't it?

    I have experimented with a bead abdomen - putting three beads on the shank and dubbing in between each bead. Nice effect but a little spendy using three beads per fly that will most likely get snagged on the bottom and lost at some point.

  11. #8

    Default Re: a few simple stonefly nymphs

    not if the dropper is tied off to it??it would as I said have to be tried out...but no need to use three beads...some wire would be fine...

    ted...trout bum/wandering monk
    public water 20"er
    public land pope & young

    Breac à linne, slat à coille is fiadh à f́reach - mèirle às nach do ghabh gàidheal riamh nàire.
    a fish from the river, a rod from the woods and a stag from the mountain , thefts ne'er a Gael was ashamed
    ...and old gaelic proverb...

    my blog & website
    http://wmflyrodco.com/

  12. #9
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    Default Re: a few simple stonefly nymphs

    WOW These are Great looking Patterns

  13. #10
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    Default Re: a few simple stonefly nymphs

    Ted: Nice work on the stoneflies!
    Larry


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