Over time I embraced the stimulator as a necessary fly for fishing the brawling rivers and streams of the west. The heavily hackled high floating fly imitates caddis and stoneflies, and when tied in large sizes also represents a grasshopper. If you peruse my post of 01/26/2015, you will note that I produced a batch of stimulators prior to my trip to Argentina in December 2013. These flies went largely unused during my trip, but their presence in my fly box prompted me to experiment with them on western streams upon my return, and I discovered their consistent effectiveness.
During 2018 I continued to rely upon stimulators in various situations. Yellow versions in size 12 and 14 satisfied my need for golden stonefly and yellow sally imitations. Gray and olive bodied stimulators were viable representations of large caddis. I even enjoyed some level of success with a gray size 14 during a gray drake hatch on the upper Arkansas River. My most recent post on 04/03/2018 summarizes many of my observations regarding stimulator usage on the streams that I visit.
As described in the 04/03/2018 report I narrowed my needs to yellow, gray and olive in sizes 12 and 14; with size 14 stimulators attached to my line the most. I meticulously counted all my stimulators of different colors and sizes, and this exercise revealed that I possessed an adequate supply of yellows in sizes 12 and 14. I was not surprised to learn that I depleted my size 14 gray inventory the most, so I visited the tying bench and made an additional six. Size 14 olives were acceptable, however, I only found two size 12 olives in my bins. I responded to my low olive stimulator supply by tying four, and I am confident that I have more than enough of these versatile flies to cover my needs in 2019.