Number 9-The only Salmonfly you will ever need
Good Morning FHR Junkies,
I thought it well past time to get back to our list of the top 10, err.., top 11 dry flies an angler needs for Yellowstone country in the summer. So lets get back into it.
Number 9–Sunken Stone #6: This fly goes by several different names, Sunken Stone, Razorback, HedgeHog, but I stick with the creator’s (Nick Nickalus) name of Sunken Stone. Like the names, the actual fly can look a little different from each person’s vise. I trend toward the version that I first started fishing over 20 years ago. I have fished many different patterns for the Salmonfly hatch, and while I have caught fish on most of them at one time or another, it comes down to the simple fact that the Sunken Stone works, when other do not. It is also easy to see, durable, and most importantly accurately represents what a salmonfly looks like, and behaves like on the water. Now that is an efficient and creative fly that does the job its is supposed to do-catch fish.
To tie this fly you need only a few materials. Start with a short tail of black poly yarn, ep fiber, or as the original, dark moose. This is tied to imitate the black egg sac of the females, so keep it short. Next dub a small amount of orange rabbit dubbing. This should only cover a fifth or sixth of the hook shank to start. Now tie in a clump of deer hair, tips extending beyond the end of the tail just slightly. Wrap your thread through the butt ends of the deer hair to cinch the wing down more securely. Repeat this step 4 to 6 more times going forward to the eye of the hook. The last clump of deer hair should be tied off and trimmed like an elk hair caddis, and you are done. With all this deer hair, this fly floats like a champ, but it does ride flush in the surface film like the naturals do.
I enjoy seeing all the creative salmonfly patterns out there, with there unique names, rubber legs, goggly eyes, and articulated joints, but in the end there has only been one pattern that catches fish throughout this region year in and year out for as long as I can remember so I tend to reach for it first.
Good tying, and soon we will be fishing theses bad boys on the Madison.