Some seasons we get a reasonable hatch of early stoneflies on the River Robe, so in anticipation of next year I made up a wee stonefly nymph along the lines of those great big American patterns.
To get a bit of depth when using this pattern I have added a 2.8mm copper bead. Begin by threading this on to a size 12 wet fly hook (here I have used a Kamasan B170). Push the bead to the bend of the hook while you start some brown tying silk and then catch in a pair of goose biots, dyed dark brown. These point forwards and are positioned either side of the hook eye. Now bind down the ends of the biots and whip finish before cutting the silk and wastes ends.
Now push the copper bead back up to the eye over the silk base. Re-start the tying silk behind the bead and run touching turns down to the bend.
Here you catch in another pair of biots but this time they face backwards to form a forked tail. Tie in a length of vinyl rib (I used rust coloured here) and take the silk up to about halfway between the bend and the bead.
Wind the vinyl rib to form the body and tie it down.
Next, take a section of herl from a Canada Goose body feather and tie it in. this will form the wing pads. Now dub the tying silk with a mixture of dark brown and dirty olive seals fur.
Wind the dubbed silk to form a bulky thorax, then pull the goose herl over the back, securing it immediately behind the bead.
Remove the excess herl and whip finish. Now you get out the dubbing needle and tease out some fur from each side of the thorax to suggest legs.
Trim off any excessively long fibres and varnish the whip finish.
As yet untested, but this pattern should work next March! I will also tie up some with additional lead under the dressing for dropping into deeper holes.