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Little Winter Stone (dry)

In January of 1995, while fishing the Yuba for steelhead with a couple of friends, we noticed the fish taking adult stones off the surface. After capturing a specimen, I took it home and designed an imitation. The natural's characteristics included a tan-ish body, a yellowish underbody, a black head and a dark wing. They seemed to average about 1 1/8 inch in length, and were fairly slim of body. The result is the pattern depicted below. Because the stonefly hatch is just beginning, it seemed appropriate to feature this fly for January of the new millennium.


Hook: Tiemco 200R, size 10-12
Thread: Black 6/0 or 8/0
Tail: Brownish goose biots
Body: Hare's ear or substitute synthetic
Underbody: Yellow polypropylene yarn (narrow piece)
Rib: Black rug thread or other heavy, thick thread
Wing: Brown hackle (reversed)
Hackle: Brown hackle
Head: Black thread


1. Cover hook with thread. At a point just above back of barb, tie in two biots, concave side out (usual stonefly arrangement). At the same point, tie in rug thread on top of hook, and yellow yarn on bottom of hook. Let these hang out of the way for now.
2. Dub up a nice tapered body, leaving about 1/8 inch behind the eye bare.
3. Turn the hook upside down (or rotate vise), and pull the yellow yarn forward, tying it off at forward end of body, on underside. This imitates the underbody.
4. Return the hook to normal position, and rib the body and underbody with the black rug thread. You can find rug thread at the yardage shop. Use a substitute if necessary.
5. Strip the fuzz from a large brown neck hackle. Put a drop of flexament on the hackle, and stroke it backward until it is about 3/16 inch in width. Set it aside to dry. When dry, tie it in atop the fly, right on top of the forward end of the body.
6. Trim the rear end of the hackle to a rounded shape, letting the feather stick out over the back end of the body about 3/8 inch.
7. Tie in a nice, stiff neck hackle on the still-bare front 1/8 inch of the hook, and wrap as a dry hackle. Trim the hackle top and bottom, so that only the barbs which stick out to the sides remain.
8. Form a nice head, tie it on a 4X tippet (or 5X if the water is low and clear), wade in quietly, observe what's going on, cast to a rising fish, avoid all drag, visualize the take as it drifts, and hang on!!!

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Copyright 1998 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.