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In my opinion, the Stimulator is one of the best flies for using as an indicator. It floats high, is super buoyant, and mimics a large range of bug species. I could be wrong, but I believe it was originally created to be a stonefly imitator, however it can easily mimic hoppers, and even large caddis if tied to the correct sizes.

Being very buoyant means that you can drop a bead head nymph behind it, or another small dry fly. This thing will hold up a large variety of other flies. Also, being such a large size, fish tend to hammer this fly hard! Some of my best strikes, where the fish literally came out of the water, have been with a stimulator. Using different colors of hackle, and dubbing can give you different effects. For my local streams in Colorado, this orange/brown body, with tan/grizzly head works great! But your local streams and rivers might vary.
The hook commonly used for this fly is one with long shank, but with a curve to it. The hook I used is from Firehole sticks, but common hooks you can find at most fly shops will be Daiichi 1270 or TMC200. Of course you can use whatever you want, get creative! However a different shaped hook will give it a different look, and won't have that traditional Stimulator body curve to it.

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You can, and I have tied stimulators on a straight hook. I think a curved hook gives the fly an interesting profile. Looks more like a hopper.

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I kinda stated above that you could use a different shaped hook. But it would come out looking different. Stimulators commonly use this hook for the reason rstraight said, it makes it look like a hopper. But a long shank straight hook could work as well, just wont look like a traditional stimulator. However thats not a bad thing, and could end up producing a lot of fish. :)

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No, I wasn't asking if it could be done on different hook my curiosity is why it is commonly done on a hook that I don't recall being used for anything else. Why did the pattern use that style hook to begin with?

It does not look more like anything to me, I thought grashoppers bent up rather or were straight.Now I will need to o catch a grass hopper, I guess.

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No thats a really good question I dont know why exactly. However I will say that I do use this hook for many other flies... this shape works really well for red annelids and I use it on many nymph patterns like pheasant tails to give it an interesting look. In fact this shape hook is one of my favorite to use. As to why the stimulator specifically use this originally is probabl as to why the stimulator specifically used this originally is not something I know, however I could venture to guess its for the same reason I use it for other flies, to give an interesting look. It is a very well known and used fly, and that shape could be the thing to have given it an edge for sale. Looking through a bin of flies at a fly shop everything starts looking the same. When something stands out it gets selected more.

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I've always tied the Kaufman Stimulator on straight shanked hooks and alas, caught fish with them. But I haven't tied one of those in years now. In Maine the idea of this fly is stone flies. When I get up there it seems it's black stone time and I do better with nymphs personally, even a certain black bugger I tie...

 

Nice tie by the way !

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Strange but at first glance I thought it looked like a sofa pillow fly I once saw.

Nice tie and video.I bet it fishes well by itself.

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Thanks guys, yeah from my memory the sofa pillow fly is this only more heavily hackled. Although Ive never tied one, or really seen one in person but someone once tied one (I think) and put a pic of it on this forum. Of course I could be remembering wrong. Haha.

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tjm

 

from the internet

 

Stimulator

 

Anglers and tyers wrongly credit Randal Kaufmann for the Stimulator. He did not originate the Stimulator but did popularize it in the early-1980s. Jim Slattery created his Fluttering Stonefly that he later renamed the Stimulator. Many fly tyers argue that the Orange Stimulator is a variation of the Improved Sofa Pillow fly pattern that was created by Pat Barnes in the 1940s. Some fly tyers argue that the Stimulator was derived from the Yellow-Bellied Mattress Thrasher which has rubber legs and was created by Steve Williams in the 1970s for use on the Au Sable in Michigan. Some even argue that the Stimulator was derived from the original Trude created by Carter Harrison in 1903. However, Jim Slattery clearly blogs on the internet that the influence for his creation of the Stimulator was derived from a live eastern stonefly hatch (which was stonefly mating and egg laying activity) on the Musconetcong River in New Jersey on two straight late-evenings.

A Stimulator tied with a salmon-orange body in sizes 8 to 12 is used to imitate the giant stonefly. A stimulator tied with a yellow or green body in sizes 14 or 16 is used to imitate the small summertime yellow or olive sallies which do hatch during the day. The Stimulator tied in size 14 or 16 with a tan, black or olive body may be used to imitate a caddisfly. Add rubber legs and the Stimulator may be used to imitate a hopper, cicada or a beetle.
In his book, Essential Trout Flies, Dave Hughes states “As a searching dressing, it is hard to beat the Yellow Stimulator…tie and carry it in sizes 8 through 12, and give it a prominent place in your dry-fly box…”
The outstanding qualities of this dry fly are: 1) rides high, 2) easy to see, 3) built-in floatation, and 4) a great indicator fly for a dropper. The only down side is the time required and number of steps to tie this dry fly pattern. Regardless, this dry fly pattern is “king” of the indicator flies. Use the Stimulator as your indicator in a nymph dropper rig for roughwater nymphing.
A final tip – bend the hook slightly downward mid-shank or use a curved hook to create the “egg-laying” humped effect we observe in stoneflies as they lay their eggs over the water.

 

why its tied on a curved hook requires more google searching. have at it

 

i believe it represents in larger sizes a stonefly and in smaller sizes a caddis. to me hoppers is a stretch but who knows what the fish take it for

 

I7Ga4B5.jpg

 

not much difference between a straight hook vs curved hook (reference - essential trout flies - dave hues)

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Ok good to know. Personally I think my local water fish mistake it for a caddis or hopper honestly. We dont have many stoneflies around here. There are a few rivers and creeks that have them, but only a few. Vast majority of where this fly works for me is in water without stoneflies...

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A final tip – bend the hook slightly downward mid-shank or use a curved hook to create the “egg-laying” humped effect we observe in stoneflies as they lay their eggs over the water.

That explains the intent. Egg laying posture.

I'm not sure the underneath view would make that slight curvature apparent, but as a strike indicator/corky that wouldn't matter. As mentioned we can't guess what an unthinking animal thinks it is.

 

Thanks flytire for the research, the two are remarkably similar, so my memory isn't totally at fault. Happens sometimes that two or more folks come up with very similar ideas at nearly the same times. Or at different times and locations even to mimic different bugs. Either of those flies in yellow could have the tail clipped short and become a passable hopper, imo.

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