Prior to my trip to Rio Manso Lodge in December of 2013, Taylor Edrington of Royal Gorge Angler suggested that I take some large caddis along to Patagonia. I accepted his suggestion and cranked out 15 – 20 stimulators with various body colors. I made bushy attractors in light olive, yellow, tan, gray, black and peacock. I recall only using a stimulator once or twice on the trip with no resulting hook ups, so I returned to the U.S. with a nice supply of size 14 flies available for the 2014 season.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh4.ggpht.com/-HPEPIgTga0w/VMHJfkdwqvI/AAAAAAAAwV4/hSyGlVLPsjk/s144-c-o/IMG_0825.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/01222015Stimulators#6107384113892731634″ caption=”Zooming In” type=”image” alt=”IMG_0825.JPG” ]
Early in the summer after the run off conditions subsided, I began experimenting with my stimulators and discovered that they were quite productive. The success began on South Boulder Creek and continued on the small streams that I fished in Idaho, Rainey Creek and Bear Creek. I loved their visibility and the way they remained on the surface in fast turbulent pockets and runs. I reached the point where I would not want to be without my stimulators while fly fishing in the west.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh6.ggpht.com/-YP6bSucVesc/VMHJiN24B4I/AAAAAAAAwWc/nnERvMxYv6E/s144-c-o/IMG_0829.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/01222015Stimulators#6107384159363663746″ caption=”Yellow Stimulator” type=”image” alt=”IMG_0829.JPG” ]
Meanwhile the zipper on my Fishpond front pack broke, and I could not completely close the one side of the inside pocket where I stored my fly boxes, tippets and leader material. I was hesitant to take the front pack out of service during the season as this would have involved transferring all my gadgets to an old-time vest, so I attempted to make do with a partially closed pocket. This proved to be a mistake.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh5.ggpht.com/-kWojjv8dyms/VMW_ZEWTrpI/AAAAAAAAwkQ/Ad4d1FugMQQ/s144-c-o/IMG_0838.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/01252015RockyMountainArsenal#6108498906982887058″ caption=”Stimulators for 2015″ type=”image” alt=”IMG_0838.JPG” ]
On a September trip to the Frying Pan River I landed a small brown trout on a dry/dropper arrangement, and the frisky fish made numerous spins in its valiant attempts to escape my hook. These maneuvers caused one of the worst tangles I’ve ever experienced in my career of fly fishing. I eventually had to snip off the entire tippet section and begin anew, however, while making all these changes while standing in the middle of the river, I apparently squeezed my fly box out of the inside pocket and into the river.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh6.ggpht.com/-HLjYmAtHNTI/VMW_ZvZ6OfI/AAAAAAAAwkU/ZCxTfjdzeYI/s144-c-o/IMG_0839.JPG” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108128655430094950653/01252015RockyMountainArsenal#6108498918540720626″ caption=”Beginning to Fill the Boat Box with Stimulators, Trudes and Muggly Caddis” type=”image” alt=”IMG_0839.JPG” ]
When I realized that it was missing I searched the area frantically hoping that it became lodged on a rock or branch as it floated downstream. Alas, it was nowhere to be found. The fly box that escaped my front pack was the very same one that contained my entire supply of stimulators. Needless to say I was heartbroken over this loss.
Prior to a subsequent late season fishing trip I purchased ten replacement stimulators, and I lost a few of these, so I decided to replenish my supply last week. I now have 25-30 fresh high floating stimulators stashed in my fly bin ready and waiting for the 2015 season.