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Hook Daiichi 1260 or similar, size 8-12
Thread Black or olive 6/0 or 8/0
Tail Blank or olive fine rubber leg material
Body Olive-yellow dubbing, shaggy
Rib Fine olive v-rib or other vinyl ribbing material
Wingcase Dark Turkey, with a few strands of crystal flash
Legs Black hen
Eyes Monofilament or tiny "dumb bells"
Head Black thread
Weight .015 lead wraps

Bill's Simple Stonefly
(Yuba River Version)

If you were born a “squalla” stonefly in the Lower Yuba River, spring would be a time of immense danger for you. Beginning in January (sometimes a little earlier) these little stoneflies become the insect de jour for Lower Yuba River fish–steelhead and trout. Other insects remain important to the fish (caddis, and maybe even mayfly species), but stoneflies predominate their menu. As the larvae crawl amidst submerged rocks and debris, their piscatorial predator feasts on them. Imitation of this larval behavior pattern through proper drift and depth control is crucial. Your fly must, in other words, drift naturally at or close to the bottom.

            Larvae are dark in color, shaded with an olive-yellow hue. This month’s stonefly pattern is “generic” in that it can be used for any color or size of stonefly. It serves as an excellent imitation for the golden stone, as well as black species. The fly can be tied with or without a bead. For simplicity, the bead is omitted here.

            The adults begin hatching in mid- to late February. Next month we’ll feature a stimulator pattern that seems to work well on the Yuba.


  1. Apply between 5 and 10 wraps of lead where the thorax will later be tied. Cover it with Flexament and wrap it tightly with thread, securing it front and rear.
  2. Cut about 1 inch of fine rubber leg material from a strand. Fold it in half and, with the loop to the rear, tie it in just above the barb. Don’t cut it yet, as the rest of the fly is easier to tie with it intact.
  3. Tie in the ribbing material at the same point, and let it hang to the rear out of the way.
  4. Tie in a dubbing loop at the same point, and move the thread to the front of the hook.
  5. Using a dubbing loop tool, create a shaggy “rope” of dubbing by filling the loop with the dubbing material and twisting the tool.
  6. Wrap the “rope” forward to the rear of the lead and tie it off.
  7. Wind the ribbing material forward to the same point. Use only 3 to 5 wraps, depending on hook size. Tie it off securely and add a drop of super glue to the wraps.
  8. Using a piece of velcro (hook side), tease the dubbing out from beneath the ribbing, creating a shaggy look. Trim the bottom and top of the abdomen, and then the sides. The finished product should have a taper to the tail area.
  9. Cut a few strands of crystal flash and tie them in on top of the lead, with the ends pointing to the rear. Tie in a piece of dark turkey approximately 1/4" wide on top of the lead; wrap it down well, making sure that there is no gap between the abdomen and the rearmost spot where the turkey is wrapped.
  10. Dub the thorax, using a bit more dubbing than was used for the abdomen...the thorax should be more robust than the abdomen.
  11. Tie in another loop of rubber leg material just behind the eye, with the loop facing out over the eye. Don’t cut the loop yet.
  12. Tie in a pair of mono eyes behind the eye at the same spot.
  13. Strip the fuzz from a hen feather. Then cut the stem about midway down its axis, leaving a “v” shaped remnant. Place this remnant on top of the thorax, with the concave side down. This will represent the legs. Tie it down just behind the eye of the hook.
  14. Bring the turkey over the top of the thorax and tie it down behind the eye. Bring the crystal flash over the top and tie it down at the same spot. Place a bit of dubbing over the tie-in spot and whip finish. Place a small drop of super glue over the thread winds.
  15. Cut the rubber leg material loop at the rear in half to form the tails, and shorten them to about shank length. Cut the loop at the front, leaving the antennae long. That’s it.

 Sounds more complicated than it is.

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Copyright 1998 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.