Easy Stonefly Nymph

Easy Stonefly Nymph

Effective, simple... and no fussing with the details

  • By: A. K. Best

There is a great temptation among all tiers (myself included) to try to include every possible detail when tying these usually large nymphs. If you're going to do that, I'd suggest you go all out, take a day or two to tie an exact imitation-and then save it under a glass case. Losing a true work of art on the first cast can be a maddening experience.

Tying stonefly nymphs for fishing can be a lot easier than most tiers suspect. I think that's because there are some realizations about stonefly nymphs and trout that that will open your mind a bit when tying these large insects.For instance, when stonefly nymphs lose their grip and are free floating, their antennae are folded back over their bodies, so there is no need to tie them on! And trout can't count the number of wing case pads, so use only one long one!

Finally, the stream is usually a little off color, so size, shape, and general color are the main considerations. Forget the little details!

Recipe: Hook: Mustad 79580, size 2-8

Thread: Danville's black monocord

Weight: Length of lead wire on each side of hook

Tail: Black goose biots

Body: Black coarse wool sweater yarn

Ribbing: Black Swanundaze or V-Rib

Wing pad: Black goose or turkey segment

Legs: Black hen back feather

Thorax: Dirty orange dubbing Tying Instructions:

1. Lash lead wire to each side of the hook and lacquer liberally. Dub a small ball at the end of the shank and tie in a goose biot on each side as shown in Photo # 1.

2. Tie in black Swanundaze or V-Rib first, and then attach a thinned end of heavy, black sweater yarn. Twist the yarn and wind it forward to within one hook gap of the eye, tie down and clip of excess. Spiral wrap the Swanundaze forward in a similar manner. Completed abdomen should look like Photo #2.

3. Tie in a hook-gap width segment of black goose or turkey by its base on top of the body about one third back from the hook eye with the shiny side down.

4. Tie in one black hen back feather by its tip (with the shiny side up) immediately on top of the goose segment.

5. Create a dubbing loop, insert dirty orange dubbing, spin the loop to form a rope and wind from behind the eye toward the rear of the thorax, and then forward again. Trim the top, sides and bottom of the thorax. This will create a properly shaped thorax as shown in Photo #4.

6. Stroke the hen fibers to the rear to create two V's, pull it forward over the thorax, tie down behind the eye, and clip off the butt.

7. Fold the wing case segment forward over the hen back, tie down firmly, and clip off the excess.

8. Liberally lacquer the wing case being careful to avoid the hen hackle fibers.