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Monday, July 11, 2016

Hi Vis Stimulator

A Modern Spin on a Classic

The Stimulator is one of the classic trout flies that defines almost any dry fly box.  There is some debate on who first tied the Stimulator pattern (Slattery or Kaufmann), but Kaufmann was the guy who kind of improved the pattern and made it a widely popular fly.  Mostly fished as a stonefly adult, it actually fishes great as a general attractor pattern, and can be tied from size 18 to size 2 (size 12 to size 6 are probably the most popular.)  I usually have a few of them in my box, and I have been making a few modifications to them for the past two years so they fish they way I want them to.  The original way that I learned used a TMC 200R hook, which really doesn't lend itself well to a fly pattern that has hackle throughout the body.  I found that the hackle could impede hookups on the 200R because of the narrow hook gap.  For a long time I just tied them on a 2x long dry fly hook like the TMC 5212 or the Gamakatsu S10, but I have recently found a curved shank hook that has a much better gap...  The Daiichi 1260.  The other mods that I make on this fly are the tail (biots instead of hair) and the wing (para post material added on top of the hair.)  The most tricky part of this fly is the hair wing, but in this video I show a technique that should make tying in the wing much more manageable.  Also, feel free to substitute colors and types of dubbing, hackle, biots, etc...


Material List

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Hook: Daiichi 1260 Bead-Head Specialty Hook - 8     
Thread: 8/0 UNI-Thread Waxed Midge - Camel     
Tail: Nature's Spirit Turkey Biot Quills - Golden Stone     
Ribbing: UTC Ultra Wire - Olive - Small     
Body: Nature's Spirit Hare's Mask Dubbing - Gold     
Thorax: Nature's Spirit Hare's Mask Dubbing - Natural     
Wing: Nature's Spirit Stimulator Deer Hair - Gold     
Hackle: Whiting High & Dry Cape - Grizzly Dyed Golden Olive     
Overwing: Para Post Wing Material - White     


  1. Agreed on the hackle covering the hook point. Why not just leave out the rear hackle entirely? It floats like a boat already and the additional poly yarn over-wing helps even more so. I think fish like it when the backend sits lower in the water too.

    1. Yep. I do this on the Butthead pattern and it works great. With the biot tail on this bug it needs a bit of buoyancy to keep it skating high.

  2. Ive started using the same size hackle for the body and the head because I was having trouble with my stimulators tipping on their heads when I sized up the front hackle. Any thoughts? I could never figure out why because I know most are tied with two different sized hackle feathers. Cant wait to try the daiichi hooks though, have noticed some trouble hooking up on 200r style hooks.