Stoneflies are common throughout the Western States and come in a few different species. Salmonflies, Skwala, Goldens and Black stoneflies can all be represented by this pattern with simple changes in color. The foam topped stone fly rides low in the water and the few extras that I add in help to add more movement and attract more strikes.
The pattern I will be demonstrating is for a Skwala Stone fly which features an olive body and brown foam. If you want any help or tips representing a particular species in your neck of the woods feel free to comment and I will help out where I can.
Hook: Size 8 Streamer
Thread: 140 Denier Olive
Body: Olive Fine and Dry Dubbing
Foam: Brown Craft Foam
Legs: White striped and Brown striped rubber legs
Flash: Peacock Krystal Splash
Wing: Hi-Viz Antron
Middle: Olive Diamond Brite Dubbing
Extras: Super glue and Black Sharpie
Step 1 : Body Preparation
I begin by cutting the foam body, since I use regular 2.5mm craft foam I double up. Cut two pieces of foam the length of the entire hook and half as wide as the hook gap. Trimming can be done afterward and this is a general sizing guide for this fly. Glue the two pieces together and trim so they are even on all sides.
Step 2: The Body
Begin by applying a thick body of olive dubbing and do not worry about crowding the hook eye as the finish will be in the middle. Bring the thread back on the hook where the first segment will be created. Glue the foam body to the top of the dubbing then wrap tightly to form a head segment. Whip finish and clip the tag of the thread. Take this time to trim the foam as needed especially to ensure you have access to to hook eye.
Create a segment above the barb of the hook by tightly wrapping thread a few times. Whip finish, clip the tag, move forward and repeat. ensure you leave enough room for one more segment to be created.
Step 3: Wings
Create a few tight wraps to secure the thread in the new segment, then tie in a few strand of Krystal Splash. To create the strands I take one strand, cut in in half, then use that half doubling it over and cutting until it is down to a usable size. Afterwards tie in the Hi-Viz Antron Wing. For this I slide the wing under the thread with one half on either side of the thread as the next few steps will press the wing down.
Step 4: Legs
Cut four legs (two of each color) about the same length as the foam body. Secure one leg of each color to the sides of the fly. Prepare a piece of Olive Hackle and secure it to the top of the fly. For this fly I used saddle hackle because I wanted longer legs and a buggier look. Dry fly hackle could be used as well for a tighter look as well as trimming the hackle after it has been wrapped.
Apply a thin layer of Diamond Brite or other sparkle dubbing to imitate motion and give the hackle something to grab. Make two wraps of hackle and secure. be careful when securing the hackle and try not to trap hackle fibers. Whip Finish again avoiding hackle fibers and clip the tag.
Step 5: Final Touches (optional)
Using your Sharpie make stripes on the Antron Wing color the head black and apply two dots in each segment on the underside. Clip a V notch out of the tail to give the appearance of a split tail, and clip the hackle fibers to present a lower profile if desired. All of this is completely optional and without doing them your fly will still fish and trigger strikes.
As I stated the pattern can be adopted to other stone fly patterns and can even be done in purple while still being effective.
If you enjoyed this how to let me know and tag me on Instagram with your versions of this fly @justinspruiell