Stimulator Fly Pattern -

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Rainbow and Brown Trout Fishing Flies
Adult DragonflyBuckhorn SpecialHare's EarChernobyl Ant
Clouser MinnowDamselFlyDragonfly NymphCaddis Fly
Madam XParachute AdamsStimulatorWet Dry Fly
Woolly BuggerMayFlyMouseHornberg

     The stimulator fly and some versions called the sofa pillow are dry flies that float very well and attract big trout. They come in various colors and all sizes from 4 to 16. These flies are used to imitate the stone fly, but the smaller versions can pass for the caddis fly.  

Color and Sizes

Stimulator Fly Pattern     In Argentina and Chile we use the big stimulator tied in sizes  4-6 and in body colors burnt orange or yellow. I first saw stimulator fly used on the Limay River in Argentina in 1985 by a group of Americans who came to fly fish, but just dry fly fishing.

     This fly proved itself very well during their trip. Unfortunately, they ran short of flies before the week was out and it was noticeable how they missed having that fly on hand. They had both colors mentioned above, but the burnt orange seemed to be the one preferred by the trout.

Fishing the Fly

     Since that first appearance, we have continued to use this fly or versions of it with very good success.It is cast with a dry line and can be swung across big river currents or drifted along. I like to use it on the lakes around big cliff edges where the rock formations go right down into the deep water. The big brown and rainbow trout have a tendency to hold up there, especially the browns. The trout like these places because it gives them a dark ledge to hide under and yet they can see what is up on the surface.

     As you drift or row the lake you present this big fly as if it fell off a rock or overhanging tree. You have to be a reasonable distance away from the rock edge or tree so that the fish does not see the boat. Make a good presentation when you cast and let it set on the water awhile as the fish might be hunting this section or he might be studying your fly getting ready to shoot up and take it.

Where to Fish the Stimulator

     I like to think that fish are in some ways like cats. They get all wound up first, getting that big tail moving, then lock on to the target, accelerate and your fly is gone.  Another place to use this fly is around logs that might be partly under water. Trout can hide under these and it is known that the stone fly nymph crawls out and up on rocks, logs, etc. to make the change from nymph to a natural fly with four wings. Some of them are so big that they fall in the water at times and become easy prey for the waiting fish.

The Rio Puelo, Argentina/Chile

     On the Rio Puelo we have a very exciting caddis hatch during the evening in summer and along with this the big stone flies are making their way across the river. Their flight seems difficult, with their big bodies fluttering up and down. Occasionally, a stone fly lands on the water and is easily engulfed by a large rainbow or brown trout.

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