Randall Kaufmann, an American angler once famous for his wonderful fly-fishing shops under the Kaufmann’s Streamborn brand, had a real talent for devising superbly practical and deadly fly patterns for both fresh and saltwater fish. The big beefy Stimulator was probably his most effective and widely-used creation though it was never intended to be a single pattern. Rather it was a template on which to build a range of similarly-shaped flies that could suggest anything from an adult stonefly, to a sedge or even a large mayfly.
HOOK: Size 8-10 2x nymph down to size 10 wet fly
THREAD: Yellow 140 denier Tail: Dyed brown deer hair
RIB: Fine gold wire
BODY: Golden-olive seal’s fur
BODY HACKLE: Brown or golden-olive cock hackle
WING: Dyed brown deer hair
THORAX: Dark olive seal’s fur
HACKLE: Brown or furnace cock hackle
- Run thread down the shank to the bend. Prepare a bunch of brown deer hair and catch it in at the bend then secure the waste ends along the shank.
- Catch in a length of fine gold wire at the tail base then dub on a pinch of golden-olive seal’s fur. Wind on the fur to cover three-quarters of the shank.
- Prepare a brown cock hackle then catch it in by its base at front of the body. Using hackle pliers wind the hackle over the body in evenly-spaced turns.
- Once the hackle has reached the tail base take hold of the gold wire and wind it up through the hackle securing the turns of the hackle stem to the body.
- Secure the end of wire then remove waste. Prepare a second bunch of dyed brown deer hair and fix it in place so its tips almost reach those of the tail.
- Trim off the waste ends of deer hair to form a slight taper. Add further tight thread turns then control the wing position with a few soft thread turns.
- Next, prepare and catch in a furnace cock hackle by its base in front of the wing. Dub on a small pinch of dark olive seal’s fur and use it to form the thorax.
- With thread position at the eye, take hold of the hackle tip with hackle pliers then, starting at the wing-base, wind on three evenly-spaced turns.
- When the hackle has reached just short of the eye, secure the tip with thread then trim off waste. Finally, cast off thread with a secure whip finish.