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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I'm wondering if anyone has come across a good skater pattern for stoneflies... I was hoping to try more surface fishing this year for trout and in Alberta we get several stonefly hatches that happen throughout the year.

I think a muddler or stimulator may be possibilities....any other suggestions would be welcome.

Cheers,
SM
 

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For skating I don't think the pattern is that important. I would focus more on size and how much of a wake it makes. If it's moving along the surface the fish are likely responding to the motion rather that shape. Just my $.02.

Dan
 

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Yeah, maybe just a big honkin’ foam salmon/stone dry fly if you are obsessing on likeness. Like Erie and skol said, I’m guessing the WAY it skates (and THAT it is skating) is more important than what it looks like, but with the foam one I suppose you can switch up with a little dead drifting if the urge strikes. :)

Some of those kind of look close to foam grasshoppers - probably very easy to tie from the pictures. I know, in the words of Obiwan Kenobi, “how uncivilized!”.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For skating I don't think the pattern is that important. I would focus more on size and how much of a wake it makes. If it's moving along the surface the fish are likely responding to the motion rather that shape. Just my $.02.

Dan
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I think you may be right Dan. I have watched stoneflies swim to the middle of current and back and the wake is quite distinctive and I'm sure the fish key in on this. Also - I am planning on fishing low light conditions (early morning or evening) so I'm not sure how much of the fly they can actually see at that time. The muddler hitched would also work well I imagine as previously suggested.

I usually fish a Chubby Chernobyl on my SH rods for stonefly imitations, I may try waking it....or tying a tube version for waking hahah.
 

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I use a black elk hair caddis without any hackle. In my experience, the hackle on an elk hair caddis is only desirable when dead-drifting... I think hackle sinks the fly easier if they're skated in anything other than ideal (smooth) water.

Tie a skinny dubbed body, and then a normal elk hair wing. Prop the elk hair butts up and fanned out, add just enough cement to the fan to hold it rigid... It helps hold the fly up on plane when skated. I read about this somewhere (maybe here at SP?) and it does work.
The fly kinda looks like an underfed Grease Liner.

I do the same pattern for yellow sallies and green stone flies in the summer, just down-size them a little. It's an easy and quick tie, but won't win any beauty contests.

It doesn't matter in what manner or water you fish it in. This pattern gets bit. Even on glassy water without much current. Big time confidence fly for me in the warm months.

I also tie larger sizes for smallmouth bass. It would probably work during the western salmon fly hatch too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tie a skinny dubbed body, and then a normal elk hair wing. Prop the elk hair butts up and fanned out, add just enough cement to the fan to hold it rigid... It helps hold the fly up on plane when skated. I read about this somewhere (maybe here at SP?) and it does work.
The fly kinda looks like an underfed Grease Liner.


I would love to see a pic Sean, if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thats an awesome skater, thanks for posting. And thanks for the detailed instructions, I think together with the picture, I will be able to steal errr...borrrow.... your pattern.

Cheers
Serge
 

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I have always had excellent success with a hackled Improved Sofa Pillow style stone. Tied in Salmon Stone colour, Golden Stone colour and various green, rusty brown and black versions. The latter three in sizes 8-12, the Golden Stone in #6 in my area and Salmon Stone in #2-4, again my area.
I add grease and skate away.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I wasn't familiar with the Sofa pillow but did a quick google search- looks similar to a Stimulator to me.

Looks like a great option too, thanks Mike.
 

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I just came across this a week ago and because its spring stonefly season here in Montana, I tied a few in size 10. It's a great looking fly but I haven't used it yet. I like the big, almost 180 degree profile with the wings splayed out. When big stones get stuck and are trying to take off from the water surface the wings spread out like this.

Hope to test it out soon.

https://thefeatherbender.com/2020/03/21/screaming-banshee/
 

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You might want to look at a pattern called the Grantham Sedge. Adapt it to your tube tying skills, hole in tube under and in back of the muddler like head and it will stay on top so long as there is the slightest tension on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I tied up two different flies: a Grantham Sedge and Sean's skater. The Sedge I tied on a tube and I plan on "hitching" it by placing a hole on the bottom of the tube.

I am not sure if I did Sean's fly justice but I think it will fish. I had no head cement and used superglue for the hair butts.

Any suggestions for improvement welcome. Cheers
 

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I tied a couple of those screaming banshees (not as nice as the pic though, my deer/elk hair skills aren't what they should be) to try this spring... we'll see how they do... they look cool!

Yeah! Both of those will fish Tubular Spey! If you have problems with floatation during the skate, try a straight eye hook.
 

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i tie up some similar flies on a tube and skate them for trout in the summer . they stay right up on top w/o much , if any grease . in this case the buoyancy of the plastic is your friend . i posted some "schmuddlers" a while back and skated one of them yesterday hitched . no fish but it really looked and performed great on the water . again , no grease , just a little tension .
nice ties man !
thanks , jim
 
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