There are popular names among the fishing world that are recognized and highly lauded for their gifts to the sport of fly fishing. Randall Kaufmann—a commercial fly tier—is one widely known for creating one of the most popular flies out there, referred to as the Stimulator.

 Stimulator by Jan de Haas

Fly Tied by Jan De  Haas, Purple is the New Black

Available in a variety of both sizes and colors, the Stimulator is incredibly buoyant and, when viewed by a trout, has a perfect stonefly pattern that attracts the fish right away. In fact, a great deal of “top ten” lists state that if you could only choose one fly pattern to fish all stonefly hatches, the Stimulator would be the one and only pick.


To break the pattern down further, the Stimulator is commonly thought of as being the ultimate attractor for its ability to resemble many things but imitate no one thing in particular. Having this unique ability makes the fish go for it; and it becomes even more deadly when fished with a wet fly dropped off the hook. 


Dressed with a salmon-orange body, the Stimulator closely resembles the large black stonefly, also known as the giant salmon fly. In smaller sizes and colors, it is frequently chosen to look like the yellow stoneflies, small yellow sallies, little brown stoneflies and olive sallies. But that’s not all; the Stimulator also works as a caddis fly. And with just a little time and energy, the angler can add rubber legs in order to fish it as a hopper or a beetle.


Carrying it in sizes 8 through 12 in your dry-fly box, whether you fish stonefly hatches or not, is a must. In fact, it’s been recorded by many that on days when very few flies can be seen on the surface of the water, drifting the Stimulator down seam lines has proven highly successful in bringing up the fish. This is not a surprise once you check out the Stimulator’s built-in flotation, allowing it to ride high and be easily seen. In addition, it works incredibly well when used in front a nymph dropper or emerger, making your trip even more successful.


The very popular Yellow Stimulator, is known as the classic. Orange, green, black, crystal, and peacock, however, are other commonly used body colors when talking about the Stimulator fly. When creating your own, following this long-used recipe is helpful—For the hook, utilize Dai Riki 280 or TMC 200R, sizes 4-16; thread, hot orange, 6/0; for both the tail and wing, use light elk hair; abdomen, yellow fur or synthetic dubbing; thorax, utilize amber fur or synthetic dubbing; body hackle, brown, sized to hook gap; ribbing, utilize fine gold wire or tying thread; and, for the hackle, Grizzly is suggested, sized about the same or slightly larger than the body hackle. When it comes to the creation, make sure to measure the tail approximately to the hook gap and keep it on the sparse side. If you’re a beginning tier, practice will be needed to get the proportions correct, but it won’t take long before you’re filling the dry-fly box with your host of Stimulators.


Take some time and do your research to start this “must-have” collection today. You’ll soon learn why this is one of the best all-purpose fly fishing trout and salmon searching patterns, and see its remarkable ability to attract even the most reluctant fish to rise to the surface!

Great Gear to Catch the Salmon Fly Hatch:

 Classic Rods 7' 3/4 - 10' 4/5 wt: Click Here

Diamond² Fly Rods: Click Here

Prestige G-XS Fly Rod: Click Here

XS-Plus THISTLEDOWN2 Fly Line: Click Here



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