Extended Body Stonefly Step-by-Step

Extended Body Stonefly Step-by-Step:

While I’ve highlighted a variety of foam dry fly patterns in the past, today’s is a little different.  Designed to mimic a variety of stoneflies, today’s SBS utilizes an extended foam body constructed separately from the fly itself.

An ideal pattern for mimicking stoneflies as large as the famed Salmonfly, the SBS below is tied slightly smaller in a size better suited for imitating Golden Stones and Skwalas.

Curved Shank Dry (#6-14) 70 Denier (Yellow or Tan)Materials 2-mm Thin Foam (Tan or Yellow)
Materials Synthetic Dubbing (Tan/Golden)Materials Round Rubber Legs (Brown or Barred) Materials Elk Hair (Natural)
Materials Marker (Brown)

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Extended Body Stonefly Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge)

Tips and Tricks

  1. Matching the hatch – While the size and color of fly shown are best suited to mimic a golden stone or skwala, tweaks in size and color can allow this pattern to mimic any stonefly from a Salmonfly to a Yellow Sally. Even other downwing species such as caddis or grasshoppers can easily be mimicked with a few tweaks.
  2. Marking the abdomen – While not addressed in the SBS portion of the post, I did include a copic marker in the materials list. This comes in handy when dealing with brighter colored (yellow and orange) thin foam. Unmarked, these brighter colors may deter wary fish. Mark them as you see fit to help break up the uniform bright color of the extended body.

Proof of Concept

The extended body is a new addition to my fly box. As a result, it remains untested.

Tight Line!


Extended Body Stonefly Step-by-Step
Species Caught on the Extended Body Stonefly to Date:

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7 thoughts on “Extended Body Stonefly Step-by-Step

  1. I don’t get up north too often to fish stoneflies and when I do I usually use a guide and/or buy some from the local fly shop. However, I plan to tie some of these to imitate grasshoppers for these warm waters. Thank Chris.

  2. I think I might try the Skwala version. Looks easier than the bullet head pattern I’ve been playing with. Don’t generally tie extended body flies as the words of my first fly tying instructor (Carl Coleman whom you may know) said the extended body can push the fly out of a trout’s mouth before they contact the hook. Always made sense to me. However, this was with standard dry fly hooks. The hook you are using may work much better.

    Also, I still can’t “like” your post. Could be my browser, Fire Fox, as it causes problems with other sites.

    1. I think they’re definitely worth a try. Regarding the risk of missed hook sets, I’ve heard that suggested before as well. Though, Dave Hughes’ Essential Trout Flies (where I first learned of the extended body technique) makes no reference to this issue. As I’ve yet to test these myself, we may learn the truth of extended bodies at the same time. I doubt I’ll use the stonefly version in the foreseeable future, but I’ve begun to work on a Hopper version tied on a Klinkhammer style hook to provide a wider hook gap.

      And I’ll look into the “Like” issues again. It appears to be working on my browser, also Fire Fox, but it’s possible that there’s an issue I’m not seeing.

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