Clyde’s Realistic Stonefly- by Kyle Hanna

featured, Fly Patterns, Step-by-Step Tutorials — By on April 26, 2012 1:55 pm

HOOK: streamer hook sized to the size stone you want to tie
UNDERBODY: lead wire
TAIL: porcupine quills
ABDOMEN/THORAX: latex strips 1/4″ wide
LEGS: heat shrink tubing/gold wire
EYES: medium mono eyes
ANTENNAE: porcupine guard hairs
WING BUDS: transparency printed pattern then laminated
COLORING: waterproof markers
LAQUER: Sally Hansens Hard as Nails (nude)

See more of Kyle at –
Prepare hook by tying on lead wire down each side of the full length of the shank from the point of the barb to just behind the eye. Then tie in a second lead wire down each side from the barb to approx. 2/3 the distance to the eye. Use a pair of pliers to flat the wire and bend the hook 1/3 from the eye. Apply laquer and let dry.

Tie in latex strip and stretch as wrap towards back of where lead stops at rear of hook.

Using the latex wrap a small ball at rear of hook to help flair tails.

Tie in a porcupine quill down each side of hook extending approx. 1/3 the length of the shank. Presoak the quills in water makes them more pliable and easier to work with.

Wrap latex strip forward folding 1/3 of the rear edge under. Stone flies have 10 abdominal

segmentations so adjust the width of each wrap accordingly. I like to make 11 or 12 wraps and end up at the point were the bend was made in the shank. Make each wrap as perpendicular to the shank as possible.

Color with waterproof marks then apply lacquer and let dry. The Sally Hansens Hard as Nails causes the colors to bleed together which creates a realistic look.

The next steps can be done prior to starting or while the lacquer is drying. This is were we prepare the legs and this is done by using heat shrink tubing. Use the smallest diameter heat shrink tubing you can find and it also comes in a variety of colors. Take the heat shrink tubing and shrink it using a heat gun or a blow drier works but is slower. As you shrink the tubing stretch it to create the diameter you desire and this stretching also aids in forming the legs later as when you apply heated tools to it will expand some to create the thicker portions of the legs. Cut this tubing into approx. 3″ pieces color and mark the centre. Next put a piece of wire through the centre of the tubing, this help when molding the legs. Then take a piece of unshrunk tubing and cut to approx 3/4 to 1″ in length and place this over the previously shrunk piece and centre it on the mark you made. Now take this and shrink the small piece on to the longer piece, making sure to hold onto the end of the longer piece while doing this or it will loose some of the stretch you had in it. Once you have done this you can color and then take a pair of tweezers and heat them with a lighter or a candle (place in flame for 3 to 5 seconds works best but will take some trial and error). Take the heated tweezers and crimp the leg at the middle point to create a flat spot which makes it easier to tie on.

Here’s where thing get a little bit different from traditional tying techniques as we don’t finish the fly at the head but rather in the thorax of the fly. So now we tie in the front head/thorax/wingbud. You can buy these premade or you can make these yourself in various ways using different materials. I made these by printing a pattern that I created on the computer onto a transparency sheet and then laminating them to add thickness. I then cut them out.

Wrap the latex strip forward and build up a small head then wrap back just in front of the bend in the hook and tie off.

Tie in the rear leg using figure of 8 in the place were you bent the shank.

Tie in one porcupine guard hair on each side of the front of the hook for antennae. Length should be 1/3 to the full length of the shank.

Tie on the mono eyes as close to the front of the hook as possible using figure of 8.

Tie in the front leg using figure of 8. Leave a little space behind the eyes for the head.

Take the latex strip and wrap using figure of 8 around the rear and the front legs and tie off in between the two legs.

Fold the front wingbud back and tie off at the back of the head portion.

Bend and fold the rear portion of the front wingbud forward out of your way.

Tie on the rear wingbud (same as the front wingbud with the head/thorax portion trimmed off).

Tie in the middle leg using figure of 8 at the mid-point between the front and back legs.

Wrap latex strip using figure of 8 around middle leg and tie off just in front of the middle leg and cut off remainder of the latex strip. Color with waterproof markers.

Fold front wingbud back and tie off just in front of middle leg. Whip finish at this point. Color and lacquer and let dry.

Form and shape the leg with bodkin and tweezers heated with a candle. Experiment with this prior to trying on your fly as it takes some trial and error. Next place a tiny amount of lacquer on the bottom of the thorax and allow it to get tacky. Wrap ostrich herl around legs and tie in knot. Apply tiny amount of lacquer to knot.

Your now finished FINALLY

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Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)


  1. Will Kassab says:


    That seems like a serious time commitment. I wish I had the patience to tie that!

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  2. Richard says:

    Think I’ll just get in the shoals and turn over some rocks…..that fly would take a while! Great pattern however.

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  3. Marc says:

    Wow. A real work of art. After that kind of time commitment I’d hate to lose one in rocks or something. Beautiful, but for me maybe just a little more time than i’m willing to spend on one tie. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Thomas says:

    Right on bro. Looks awesome. I want you to do a helgramite next, followed by a predacious diving beetle. I will take two dozen of each and I need them by opening day.

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  5. Mark says:

    Nice Job! We’ll have to try that one on the bow in early July.

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  6. Mike says:

    Awesome fly. Looks very realistic.

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  7. Henrik Søballe Sørensen says:

    Awesome fly. Better then the real thing.. I wish I had the skill!!
    Very nice..


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  8. That is a realistic looking stonefly i like it good work.

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  9. As a beginning fly tyier I will probably want to tie this in several This is a piece of art work and something to strive for one day. Thanks for the example. It’s something to aim for.

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  10. I have been trying to make the legs what size tubing do you use and what size wire. I really like this pattern

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  11. Kevin says:

    Amazing fly! My wife said she’d have to kill anything that looked like that in our house!

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  12. Александр says:

    Очень талантливая работа, которую может сделать только хороший мастер….

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  13. Billy B says:


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  14. Billy B says:

    5/5 Super looking pattern. Great technique! I’m thinking “Catch fish like crazy.”

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  15. Xtunadude says:

    Good job! The only thing I’ld do different is paint the eyeballs white with a black dot looking foreword. No really, good job

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