The aim of this blog is to connect fly-tyers all over the world, to share, techniques, patterns, information and knowledge.

Fly Tying Course # 20 The Stimulator Dry Fly

Stimulator-“Something that causes and encourages a given response” IMG_5163

Fly tying course # 20 already! For the many of you that have been following the course, although this fancy dry is a little challenging, if you have practiced, you should be more than capable of tying the stimulator. The only thing to remember is the proportions. If you get one wrong they will all be wrong! 

The original pattern is from the American fly tyer Randall Kaufmann and is probably one of the most popular flies in North America. Originally tied to imitates the adult giant stonefly, but will fish just as well as a hopper or caddis fly.

This well dressed pattern is for fishing rough fast flowing water,  where it can be seen easily at distance and it  floats like a cork. Stimulators are versatile, and although look difficult, are relatively easy to tie, again, it’s all about proportions!  By varying the size and colour, you can imitate most adult stoneflies. The Stimulator can also be tied with rubber legs, like Madam X. This is a great attractor pattern that will bring fish up to the top, when most other patterns fail! When fishing use the  same presentation as a caddis fly, streaking the stimulator over the water’s surface, especially in windy areas. Stimulators float well in rough water, but on calmer drifts, I find it fishes  better if you trim the hackle on the underside so that it  floats a little lower in the water, and strip it hard with short pauses through the surface over possible fish lies.

Hook:   Mustad curved nymph # 6 -12

Thread:  Dyneema

Tail:   Elk hair

Body:  Golden yellow Antron floss Body Hackle: Golden Badger or Furnace

Wing:   Elk hair and crystal hair fibers Dubbing

Thorax: Golden Stone

Hackle: Grizzle

IMG_5126 1

Secure your curved nymph/ terrestrial hook in the vice.

IMG_5130 2

Run the tying thread along the hook shank until it hangs level with the barb of the hook.

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Cut and clean a small small bunch of elk hair in for the tail, this doesn’t flare as much as winter deer hair. Tie in directly above the hook barb.

IMG_5132 4

Tie the elk hair down along the hook shank as shown.  This will give you a good foundation and volume for your floss body.

IMG_5133 5

Tie in the hackle at the base of the tail. The best is to use a good saddle hackle so you have the volume required.

IMG_5136 6

About one third of the way along the hook shank tie in a length of golden yellow Antron floss.

IMG_5138 7

Run the floss back towards the tail base and forward again building up a tapered body as you go. Tie off the floss.

IMG_5140 8

Wind the hackle, palmered style, about 7 or eight even turns.  When you reach the thorax tie off and remove the excess hackle.

IMG_5142 9

Cut another bunch of elk hair, this time a little larger for the wing. Before you stack it be sure to remove ALL the under fur and shorter hairs. You may have to stack it a few times to achieve this.

IMG_5143 10

If you stack the elk hair for the wing in a small diameter stacker the hair will ‘fall’ into its natural curve.

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Before you tie in the elk hair wing, tie in two or three strands of golden yellow crystal hair.

IMG_5147 12

Now tie in the elk hair, first with a couple of loose turns of tying thread and then tighter as you wind forward towards the hook eye. Trim off the excess deer hair and cover the butt ends with tying thread.

IMG_5149 13

Prepare and tie in a grizzle cock hackle at the base of the wing. This hackle should be long enough for six or seven turns.

IMG_5150 14

Dub the thorax with golden stone dubbing in a cone shape as shown. Make sure that you make a few turns of dubbing around the base of the wing, this will lower it and give the correct profile.

IMG_5156_2 15

Wind on your grizzle hackle in nice even turns. Tie off and whip finish.  Your completed golden stimulator!

One response

  1. tom

    What a beauty pattern – I think the hungry trout in my area would love this little fly.

    January 20, 2014 at 6:16 am

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