what happens when a hopper and a stonefly become amorous?

Tan Stoneflopper

I carry WAY too many flies when I fish, and it's always a struggle to decide which boxes go in my main pack vs. which boxes stay in the backpack vs. which boxes stay home.  I guess it's a good problem to have, but sometimes there is so much happening on the water that it's hard to decide what fly to tie on.  I had just successfully hybridized the Royal Wulff, Madam X, Humpy, and cripple in the Grumpy Frumpy pattern, so why not try this with other flies.  Next on the list was something that would fish like a big leggy, foamy, buoyant bug such as a stonefly/hopper hybrid.  To the vise I went, and out came the fly now known as the Stoneflopper.  Testing done, and I knew that I had a fly that would puncture fish.  Field testers would send back images of flies that were chewed up like crazy, but still producing.

Stoneflopper fish caught by angler Jake Taylor

Stoneflopper photo courtesy of Kevin Lackey

Stoneflopper photo courtesy of Kevin Lackey

I fish two primary colors.  Tan and cinnamon.  There are slight variations that I make per batch, but the general concept of the fly is the same.  Typically I just mess with the color and type of foam, dubbing, and legs.

Chris Barkey has probably fished this bug more than me, and here is what he has to say about it.  
The Stone Flopper, if it is not an original sin, it should be. I garnered a few from Clark about 6 years ago to sample and boy am I glad I did. The pattern, done in various color combos, hits the water at least 6 months of the year imitating various stones then merges into a hopper/beetle for the end of summer and into fall assault. It's buoyancy keeps it on the line as the hopper in the hopper/droppering technique, usually tagging it's fair share of fish. It is an easy tie and is fun to admire after a day of puncture wounds from big rises. Learn the pattern, change the colors and enjoy. Chris
Cutt on Stoneflopper courtesy of Chris Barkey

Brown on Stoneflopper courtesy of Chris Barkey

~ Cheech


Hook: 2xl hook (doesn't need to be light wire) like a Gamakatsu S10 #6 or Allen S402 #6
Thread: Uni 6/0 or UTC 140 to match color of foam
Tails: Round rubber or sili legs to match color of foam.  I like natural colored round rubber barred with a sharpie.
Overbody: 3mm craft foam, or 1/8" Rainy's Evazote foam
Body: Dubbing.  I typically use ice dub, fine dry fly dub, or AZ synthetic dub.
Rib: Bug wrap from flytyer's dungeon, or spanflex.
Wing: Deer hair.
Head: 2mm craft foam
Indicator: Whatever you want.  I usually do 2mm craft foam or yellow round foam.