Stoneflies are trout staples from coast to coast, and most anglers know that the most effective way to fish them is right on the bottom. The problem with this method, of course, is that you’re invariably going to get snagged on rocks or sunken debris. Some stonefly patterns are so complex, however, that you might be so worried about losing them that you don’t fish deep with confidence. That’s why a simple, yet imitative pattern is ideal.
Here’s a great video, by Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, in which he demonstrates how to tie a simple, yet effective golden-stone imitation. The way he creates the tails and wingcases is so basic, yet the final product looks great. Everything from the weight to the legs has been boiled down to the essential suggestive elements.
Simple Golden Stone
Hook: 3X-long nymph hook (here a Dai-Riki #285), sizes 8-16.
Bead: Black, 7/64-inch.
Weight: Lead-free round wire, .020.
Thread: Yellow, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Dubbing ball: Golden Stone Australian possum.
Rib: Gold Ultra Wire, brassie size.
Tails: Amber goose biots.
Back/Wingpads: Dyed-yellow pheasant tail fibers.
Body: Golden Stone Australian possum.
Adhesive: UV-cure glue.
Tools: Needle-nose pliers, bodkin.