Clarks Stonefly

Created by Lee Clark



HOOK: 1X fine wire, 2X long shank, turned-down eye; e.g., TMC 5212 or equivalent; sizes 6-10

THREAD: Orange

BODY: Flat gold tinsel

UNDERWING: Rust and gold macrame yarn; mix and comb out before tying

WING: Deer hair

HACKLE: Brown saddle



Few things excite Western fly anglers more than a hatch of salmonflies or their slightly smaller and more brightly-colored relative the golden stonefly . Of course, you don't fish this adult imitation when the insects are actually hatching because they emerge on dry land, and few trout venture there. But for several weeks after hatching, adult salmonflies and goldens are blown out of trees and land on the river. Another point of vulnerability is when the females return to lay eggs right at dusk.

The Clarks Stone has become a popular and effective pattern on many Western rivers. It is quick and easy to tie, and it casts well on lighter tippets. Therefore I don't worry so much about fishing near trees and other vegetation, which are often the best places to find hungry trout; casting is more accurate than with floam-bodied patterns, and the fly is easy to replace if I leave a few hanging in the alders.



Vary the size and body color to match other stoneflies:


How to Fish

Dress the fly with floatant and use standard dry fly presentations near the bank. The best places are just downstream of downwind from overhanging trees or other vegetation, near rocks, and along current seams.



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