April to early July adult stoneflies tend to be more available to trout than any other time of year. These big bugs offer a tremendous post spawn meal that trout count on to get back into shape and survive the mid-summer months. Famed hatches of stoneflies on the Deschutes, Metolius, Madison, Bighole and more bring anglers from all over the world to fish giant dry flies to big surface feeding trout.
Innovations in fly tying materials have led to a huge range of general and super imitative adult stonefly patterns. Below is a closer look at some of the best patterns available.
Reed’s Rogue Chubby has a realistic foam body and high floating wing. This version of a “chubby Chernobyl” is a super floater and is a great pattern to use when dropping a smaller nymph below it. Two versions are pictured above the Light Salmon color for the giant salmon fly and the Ground Mustard for the Golden Stone.
The True Salmon Fly and True Golden Stone patterns from Montana Fly Company have a super visible and “floaty” wing along with a very realistic segmented body. Both patterns are excellent “flush floaters” and work in all water types.
Stalcup’s Salmon Fly sits low in the water and invites big trout to take a slash at a struggling stone. This pattern is a little harder to see but its realistic profile and productivity make up for any visibility deficiencies.
Clark’s Stone and Clark’s Lady Stone above is one of the classic Golden Stone and Salmon Fly patterns. Low riding, easy to cast and super effective, both patterns are a must have in your stonefly collection.
Harrop’s CDC Golden Stone is a smaller Golden Stone pattern great for flat water. The CDC Golden is not a super high floater nor will it hold a dapper nymph but it’s a really good pattern when the fish are focused on Golden Stones more than Adult Salmon flies.
Harrop’s CDC Salmon fly is similar to the golden. Best in flat water or even fished sunken.
Norm Woods Special, two versions pictured above have been super popular patterns over the past 10 years. Norm seems to cover both Salmon and Golden Stoneflies in one pattern. It’s “bushy” enough to hold a nymph up and is visible in all types of water.
The Half Down Golden Stone is an excellent all around golden stone pattern. It sits down in the film but still floats high enough to be visible and hold up a small dropper nymph. We like to fish this pattern all summer, even if there are not many Goldens around.
Larimer’s Golden Stone is an excellent pattern in all water types. It sits low in the film but it very buoyant and visible. Larimer’s Golden Stone has a calf tail wing like the Norm Woods but a more slender profile.
Emma’s Stone is a buggy pattern that imitates the fluttering stonefly. Available in Golden and Salmon this easy casting highly visible pattern is a good one when you see super active stones.
The Golden Stone Rolling Stone is a Madam X style golden stone pattern that is highly visible but low riding. Fish the Golden Stone Rolling Stone later in the hatch and all summer long.