Fishing with Rod Discussion Forum

Fishing in British Columbia => Fly Fishing Cafe => Topic started by: RalphH on July 24, 2020, 12:18:24 PM

Title: What's in my fly box 7 - The Stimulator
Post by: RalphH on July 24, 2020, 12:18:24 PM
The Stimulator.

Here's a great attractor style dry fly that has been very productive for me in rivers like the Skagit, The Crowsnest and The Bow. It is a superb floater and is effective on choppy runs and riffles. I remember one day fishing the Canyon waters a mile or so below Sumallo Grove on the Skagit and this pattern rose better than a dozen fish when there was no apparent rise of rising fish. That is what an attractor dry fly is intended to do, bring fish to the surface when they otherwise are not inclined to rise. This is a great searching tactic in many situations.

With it's abundant hackle plus hair wing and tail it is super floater. Apply a bit of fly floatant and it floats high and dry through some of the choppiest water imaginable.

The Stimulator is one of many patterns originated by Randall Kaufman. Kaufman and his brother Lance built  their Oregon based fly and tackle supply company, Kaufman's Streamborn, literally out of their parents garage to become a mail order, web based, multi-tackle store chain and angling travel business. Randall retired a few years before the business became a victim on the decline of bricks and mortar stores in 2011 after over 40 years of operation. Randall wrote and published a dozen or more books on fly tying and angling many of which are still available.


Hook: #8 to 14 2 to 3x long
thread: orange
tail: light deer or elk hair a bit longer than the hook gape
body: yellow dubbing
body hackle: grizzly no longer than the hook gape
wing: light deer or elk
front hackle: grizzly
head: orange dubbing

The original pattern called for a brown hackle but when I first saw the pattern it was tied with grizzly.

 Like many patterns with a proven record the Stimulator is available in a variety of variants. The most common substitute either tan or olive dubbing for the yellow but keep the orange head.

The most common variant these days is the Royal Stimulator where the body is the same as a Royal Coachmen; a peacock herl butt, a bright red mid band and another section of peack herl. The hackle is all brown.