The end of June and early July is stone fly time in many of our western rivers. The Mahood River comes to mind where a terrific stone fly hatch draws hords of trout from nearby Mahood Lake to slash away at large stone flies desparately trying to escape from the surface film! I have seen the stone nymph exo-skeletons inches thick on rocks at the waters edge where the flies have successfully emerged. Dry fly action can be excellent but casting a nymph can also produce great results. This month we will look at the black stonefly nymph which may be just the ticket at this time of year!
Start by tying in two strands of brown goose quill for the tail. At the hook bend, attach a piece of black swannundaze plus black phentex. Wrap the phentex forward to the hook eye, followed by a rib of the swannundaze and tie off near the hook eye. Now form a dubbing loop with a small amount of black seal fur about one third of the shank distance from the hook eye and wrap it forward to the eye. Next tie in a piece of turkey feather on top of the seal fur, thick end at the hook eye. Pull the end of the turkey feather back to the eye and cinch it down to create three humps with your tying thread. Tie in two pieces of black goose quill, one on each side of the hook eye and finish the fly with a couple of wraps of peacock herl to cover the tying thread used to tie in the goose quill antenae. Cement, tie off and you have finished the black stone, a very effective large nymph for Westwern Canadian waters.
Besides the dragonfly, the nymph stage of the stonefly are very large so do not be afraid to tie big flies using number 4 hooks that are 4x long! When those large rainbows are feeding on stonefly nymphs, they can be vicious so be prepared for leader busting strikes!
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