Created by Randall Kaufmann
Imitiates the adult salmonfly (giant stonefly, Pteronarcys californica). Use when adult salmonflies are present.
Stimulators are versatile, simple to tie patterns. By varying the size and color, you can imitate most adult stoneflies. The Golden Stimulator represents the adult golden stonefly. Both the salmonfly and golden stonefly version of the Stimulator can be tied with rubber legs, ala the MacSalmon and Madam X.
How to Fish
Stoneflies emerge on land, so adults are not available to trout when the hatch. But they spend several weeks crawling aroun in bankside vegetation looking for a mate. As the day warms up, the adults become active, and in their search for love they are often blown or fall out of overhanging vegetation. Once on the water, they either drown or are eaten by trout (let this be a lesson to you). So the best places to cast a salmonfly imitation are near the bank just downstream or downwind from overhanging vegetation. The river should be 2-4 feet deep, and if it has a rocky, bouldery bottom, so much the better.
Near dusk, females salmonflies often gather in hoards, then drop to the river to lay their eggs. This is another fishing opportunity that should not be missed.
standard dry fly presentations are usually used, and the fly is heavily doped with floatant. However, because the salmonfly hatch is so popular with anglers, trout get pounded and soon become wary. A downstream presentation often works best in these circumstances. Also, a skating presentation can sometimes be effective, especially in windy areas.
Stimulators float well in rough water, but on calmer drifts you'll do better if you trim the hackle on the underside so the fly will float a little lower.
HOOK: 200R, sizes 6-10
THREAD: Fire orange
TAIL: Golden-brown elk hair
RIB: Copper or gold wire
ABDOMEN: Blend of gold, ginger, amber, yellow goat with golden-brown Haretron. Palmer with blue dun hackle.
WING: Golden-brown elk hair
THORAX: Fire orange Antron