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Angler's Entomology Podcast

Welcome to the Angler's Entomology Podcast.  On this podcast and blog, I am documenting my re-entry into the world of entomology.   Join us as my wife and I explore the environment in which trout live and the insects and other creatures that live in and share that space.  This is not just a dry recitation of facts, I hope to bring these creatures alive - show you how they live, what makes them fascinating in their own right, and help you understand how they interact with trout in ways that will help your fishing.  So, please join us.  I hope you enjoy the program...


Selene's Blog and Page for Classic Streamers; and you can finder her interview on the podcast the Liar's Club. 


I'm setting up a new set of Quizizz pages to help you learn about different insect groups.  I'll be honest - the best way to learn insects is to look at a lot of insects.  So, give these a whirl and don't get discouraged if you do poorly.   Just try again every so often.   The quizzes will be tiered- so they will get more detailed and complicated as we increase in levels.   The first ones are just about learning the different orders.    

This first quiz is about identifying the four major aquatic insect orders

Quiz #2 is a continuation on Mayfly, Stonefly, Dragon and Damselfly, and Caddisfly Orders. 

This Quiz includes other orders of insects that are important to anglers, but is only the adults.  


Episode 39: Pics and Patterns for Golden Stones

Dec 28, 2019

As I mentioned on the podcast, if you are in the Southern Maine area, on Thursday January 9, we'll be having a fly tying demo at Joshua's Restaraunt in Brunswick, ME from 6 to about 8.   Bring your fly tying material if you want (and a lamp) or just come and learn about these insects in person and their imitations.

So, as I mention in the podcast, I'm referring to two families of stoneflies when I talk about "golden" stones - both Perlidae and Perlodidae.   What draws them together is the fact that they have these tiger striped nymphs. Like this - where this one happens to be a Perlid:



One of the things that is distinctive about them is that you can often find their exuvia (discarded exoskeleton) on the rocks around a stream.   This is a fun picture where not only do you see the exuvia of the Perlid stonefly, but exuvia of four other aquatic insects (including one on the Perlid) that hatched.  

Perlid exuvia

OK, so there are a ton of fun patterns that you can use to imitate these guys.   Where it is worthwhile knowing that in both these families, not all members have this tiger striped pattern.  Some are just plain brown or tan, and all these imitations can be adapted colorwise to match those stoneflies.  Similarly, you can use all of these to imitate the generally smaller Perlodidae, where I would use a size 12-10 sized hook, or the larger Perlidae - 8-4 sized hook.   So let's start with Charlie Brook's Montana Stone:


Montana Stone

Hook: has to be pretty long - 2x or 3x.  

Tail: Biots

Body: Brown yarn

Rib1: Yellow yarn tied in at head, wound back and then forward in a crisscross pattern

Rib 2: Gold wire - tied over yellow yarn

Thorax Brown yarn

Legs: Grizzly and brown hackle along with dun or white ostrich herl. 

Here is Polly Rosborough's Golden Stone imitation: 

Polly's Golden Stone

Tail: Yellow dyed mallard, or teal, or wood duck

Abdomen: gold yarn or floss

Shellback: Yellow dyed mallard, teal or wood duck

Rib: Thick yellow thread, such as rod building thread

Wingcase: Teal neck feather

Legs Yellow dyed mallard, teal or wood duck

Ok, then you get to my flies.  Here is one I call Eric's Acroneuria, I like it because it is simple materials wise. 


Eric's Acroneuria

Tail: stacked yellow and brown (or black) deer hair or buck tail

Body: wrapped butts of tail tied up to thorax

Rib: Optional gold wire

Wing case: butts of tail folded back and forward

Legs: Butts of tail folded down and trimmed to length and density

Head; Bead

Or Eric's Rubber Stone:

Eric's Rubber Stone

Tail: Brown rubber legs

Body: Yellow and brown rubber legs wound up to thorax

Legs: Brown rubber legs

Thorax: Brown dubbing

Wing case: Burnt pheasant church window feathers

Head: Bead

Lastly, here is a simple fly that sinks well, Eric's Bead Stone:

Eric's Bead Stone

Head: Copper Bead

Body: Alternating yellow and brown glass beads

Tail: Rubber legs

Body: Rubber legs

Wing case: goose quill doubled over twice

You'll notice on some of these I have a single wing case and some a double wing case.   Stoneflies, as you know, have two wing cases.  When I tie one it is because I know the fish can't count. 

OK, for the adults, remember that all these stoneflies can hatch into adults with all sorts of color patterns.  Some of the Perlodidae hatch into light colored adults - best imitated by a yellow sally type fly.  While a lot of the other stones hatch into something more brown or tan in coloration.  (Where sometimes the "tan" of the body can be rather yellow).  

To me there are two styles of stonefly adults that are worth tying - the active fluttering adult and the spent or drowned adult.  I'll give examples of the fluttering adults first:

So, let's start with a classic fly, the Sofa Pillow:

Sofa Pillow

Tail; Elk (or deer) hair

Body: yellow yarn or dubbing

Rib: Brown hackle

Wing: Elk (or deer) hair

Hackle: Brown - tied full

A similar great fly is the Stimulator:



Tail: Elk or deer hair

Body: Yellow dubbing

Rib: Grizzly or badger

Wing: Elk or deer hair

Thorax: Amber or orange dubbing

Hackle: Grizzly or badger

In terms of flies that sit more flush with the surface, here is a fly, that I typically tie in yellow sally type colors that works well for me.  Not sure where it came from or what it is called: 

Tail: Deer hair

Body: Dubbing to match natural

Rib; Cream or grizzly hackle; trimmed on top

Wing Case: Quill to match natural

Hackle: Grizzly or Cream


here is a cool pattern called a Silhouette Stone

Silhouette Stone

Tail: Deer hair

Body: Gold or yellow dubbing over which is brown or tan raffia

Rib: Brown or ginger hackle trimmed on top

Underwing; Elk or light deer hair

Hackle: Brown or Ginger trimmed on top

Wing: Raffia also tied over thorax

This is a variation of John Blunt's Downwing Hornberg as described in Thomas Ames Jr.'s book Hatch Guide for New England Streams.



Thread: Black

Body: Flat Silver Tinsel

Underwing: Yellow Saddle Hackle Fibers (I used yellow calf tail for more body)

Wing: Woodduck Flank Feather, tied downwing

Cheeks: Jungle cock eyes (I omitted)

Hackle: Grizzly


And lastly, here is Matt Vinciguerra's Delaware Yellow Stonefly Wet

Delaware Yellow Stonefly Wet

Thread: Black

Tails: Partridge hackle

Body: Yellow floss

Ribbing: Black thread

Wing: Bronze mallard or widgeon

Beard: Partridge Hackle


Thanks and talk to you next time.