JUICY STONEFLIES (Kaufmann’s Stonefly)

by Sandeep Tilva



I am a novice at tying flies, and this is shown in my crude finishing.

The inspiration for my stoneflies is from the recipe by Randall Kaufmann.

If only mine looked half as good, I would be happy.

Tying stoneflies however has taught me a lot about fly tying.

By adjusting dubbing colors I have amassed several dozen types.

I have presented below some variations of a stonefly in various colours, with / sans beadhead, and one with a double beadhead.

You can also add rubber legs if that takes your fancy.



  What you need:

THREAD: 8/0 or 6/0 black, brown, olive depending on the colour of the dubbing.

HOOK: TMC5263 or Mustad 9671 or 9672 (Anything around 2 or 3XH and 3XL or 4XL), sizes 2-8; weighted with lead wraps. Note the golden stone fly is a size 8 to 12.

ANTENNAE: Black/Brown turkey biot

TAIL: Same as antennae.

RIB: Black, Brown or Green Vinyl Rib

ABDOMEN: Usually a black, brown, gold or olive-sculpin dubbing. I’ve used both Ice Dub UV, and Senyo’s Laser dubbing, both by Hareline. You can also their variants in Peacock Black,Chocolate Brown, Rust, Olive Sculpin and Gold. I’ve blended various shades of brown and rust to get the colour I wanted. It’s really down to your preference. The Peacock Black however is my favourite.  Blend it so that it looks buggy.

WINGCASES: Three sections of turkey quill feather or thin skin (mottled turkey). Coat with Flexament –>

VERY IMPORTANT, >>>Clip to an ‘M” shape before tying. You can make the “M” Shape by folding in half an snipping off one of the corners before adding the head cement.  

THORAX: Same as abdomen

HEAD: Same as abdomen / Use a beadhead and colour it with a Sharpie if you like.     

Tying Notes:


Two Bead Heads on this one

Add about 10-12 turns of lead wraps.

Tie the head section using two goose biots.

Wrap your thread to the end of the hook just before the bend.

 Tie a small ball of dubbing; this will help the tail goose biots spread out in a “V”.

Tie your vinyl rib.


Make it “Buggy”


Tapering the body with the dubbing is crucial. So, start by adding small amounts of body, and then increase it as you reach the mid section. The “fattest” part is around 2/3 of the way from the back.




Golden Stone Fly


Tie in the wing case – this is the only tricky part, but it makes all the difference in making a stunning fly.   You can add dubbing in between the wing cases. Add at least 2 wing cases if you can’t manage 3.   A few half hitches, a bit of head cement and you are done.



Sandeep Tilva

………..and a final word on how to fish the stonefly from Randall Kaufmann >>>>

“Imitates the nymphs of the salmonfly (Pteronarcys californica). This fly must be fished on the bottom. Period. So weight it heavily under the body, then flatten the weight with pliers. For extra weight, put on a beadhead. Yes, you’re going to lose a lot of flies.”