Coho salmon

Steelhead w w

The Stimulator is a large, high-float fly with a low-wing profile that mimics a variety of caddis and stonefly species. With a tail and wing of buoyant elk hair, it can be fished dead-drift or skated without swamping, even in fast, broken water. Positioning can be a problem when tying in elk because it is hollow and easily compressed, so tight turns of thread will cause it to flare. Tight turns are therefore only used to fix the hair in place. Once this has been achieved, looser turns are used around the wing base to position it low over the body. Laying the first turn of the dubbed thorax over the wing will also help achieve this profile.


Natural elk hair


Yellow Antron or Haretron


Natural elk hair

Furnace Hackle


Size 4-16 3X longshank

Body hackle:

Furnace saddle hackle

Thorax hackle:

Grizzle cock hackle



Amber Antron

IFix the hook in the vise and wind red tying thread down the hook shank in touching turns. At the bend, catch in a bunch of natural elk hair that has been prepared by removing any base fluff and broken fibers.

2 Secure the hair in place with four tight turns.

Use the waste ends to form an even base for the body, covering them with thread. Return the thread to the bend. Take a furnace saddle hackle, stroke the fibers back, and catch in by its tip.

3 Dub on a body of yellow Antron and wind three-quarters of the way along the hook. Take hold of the hackle with a pair of hackle pliers and wind it over the body in evenly spaced turns. Secure the waste end and remove the excess.

4 Take a second, larger bunch of elk hair.

Prepare it in the same way as before and fix in position to the front of the body. Use tight thread wraps to lock in place, then two or three looser turns to position it.

Stimulator Hook

5 Remove any excess hair with scissors; then, at the front of the wing, catch in a grizzle cock hackle. Dub on a pinch of amber Antron and wind on the resulting yarn to form the thorax.

6 Finally, take hold of the hackle tip with hackle pliers and wind on three full turns. Secure the tip with thread wraps and remove the excess. Build a small head and cast off the thread with a whip finish.

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Practical Fly Fishing

Practical Fly Fishing

Here then is Practical Fly Fishing, a companion book to my Practical Bait Casting, and like that little work this is offered mainly as a text book to help the novice through places where there is rocky bottom, rough water and other hard wading.

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