During 2014 I experienced several superb outings when stimulators proved to be extremely productive flies. The most memorable was our trip to Idaho, and the stimulator was highly attractive to the cutthroat trout in the small tributary streams of the South Fork of the Snake River.
In 2015 I continued to opt for stimulators with various body colors, and once again they proved to be worthy occupants of my fly box. I seem to recall better results on stimulators in the early summer time period when run off subsided to levels that accommodated dry fly fishing. The large heavily hackled attractors might also excel during the summer and fall, but I probably do not give them the playing time on the end of my line that they deserve.
In preparation for the 2016 season I hunkered down at my vice during the latter part of December and early January and manufactured 20 plus stimulators. My favorite body colors are red, olive, black peacock, yellow, gray and tan. I split my production fairly evenly between size 14 and size 16; however, I tied these buoyant flies on 3XL hooks.
For the size 14 yellow versions I made some modifications in order to match the golden stoneflies that I observed along the Conejos River in July. These bugs approximated the size 14 3XL hook size, but they displayed traces of orange at the tip of the abdomen and in other areas. To mimic this color nuance, I tied a small orange section at the tip of the abdomen and also used orange thread and orange dubbing under the collar hackle. I omitted the palmered hackle over the abdomen on all of these flies, and for half of them I used the Letort hopper technique which translates to no hackle whatsoever. I purposely designed these larger flies to ride relatively low in the surface film. Hopefully I will encounter another golden stonefly egg laying event during the upcoming summer, and these new flies will fool an abundance of trout.