Although salmonflies get much of the attention from Western fly fishermen, golden stoneflies usually start hatching just a couple weeks after the giant salmonflies in June. And the golden stones are not much smaller, so they garner the attention of even big trout. In the Midwest and East, however, golden stones often hatch a night, which makes the adults less important to anglers. But wherever you fish, dead-drifting a golden stone nymph in the spring can be extremely productive, and there are numerous patterns designed to imitate the various species.
In this great video from Tightline Productions, Tim Flagler ties a pretty simple golden-stone imitation on a jig hook, which means that it drift hook-up. This can be important because golden stones normally live in faster water where the bottom is quite rocky. A hook-up presentation means fewer lost flies, and it allows the pattern to stay right near the bottom, where the fish expect these bugs to be. So twist up a few of these Euro versions and add them to your nymph arsenal this spring.
Euro Golden Stone
Hook: Orvis Tactical Jig Hook, sizes 12-16.
Bead: Black slotted tungsten bead, 1/8-inch.
Weight: .015 lead-free round wire.
Thread: Wood Duck, yellow, or light brown; 6/0 or 70-denier.
Rib: Gold Ultra Wire, size BR.
Tails: Barred Pumpkin Sili Legs, nymph.
Body: Golden yellow pheasant-tail fibers.
Collar: Golden Stone Australian possum dubbing.
Adhesive: Sally Hansen Hard-As-Nails.
Tools: Needle-nose pliers, dubbing brush.