First, let's be clear about the title of this post.
I didn't go off the deep end and start experimenting with mind-altering substances to fill the hours on a Sunday evening. Not that kind of "stoned." Neither did I join some puritanical cult practicing a severely medieval variety of punishment. Rather, I chose another form of frustration - tying stone flies in preparation for the mid-summer high water.
It's inevitable. Every year, I spend the early spring months pitching small dries and nymphs as the weather begins to warm up while the water level stays low. Come June, I get sidelined during the painful, intolerable run-off, and pace back and forth like the lunatic I am, waiting for the water to drop. This year, I'm planning a different approach. The annual run-off hiatus won't disappear entirely, but with the help of some big, heavy stone flies (along with some San Juans and annelids), it's going to be a lot shorter.
My only problem is that I have yet to master the art of tying stone flies. Not that I've really mastered any flies at this point in my short tying career, but the stone fly gives me fits - specifically, the legs. I pulled up an old photo I took last summer of a stone fly casing that sat on a rock along the Poudre and tried to replicate it as closely as possible. After a number of drafts that came out pretty ugly, I at last got to a version I can live with.
I'm hoping this one will fish nicely along the banks and shallower seams during the post-runoff period. It's based on a pattern tied by a local tier here that Doc and I have had some success with the past couple of summers. I tied it awfully big (size 10), but I'm cautiously optimistic that it will draw the attention of some big browns that have been eluding me for awhile.
Tail/Legs: Light brown goose biots
Lower body: Gold wire
Thorax: Peacock hearl