View Full Version : Stimulators?
As a newbie to this sport so much of what I have been reading regards FF is all new to me. One of the many things I need clarification on concerns 'stimulators'. I get the impression that this is a fly that does not mimic any particular insect but is used, as the words suggests, to stimulate a fish to investigate and perhaps strike. Would someone please enlighten me as to just what a stimulator is, how it does what it does and how, when and where one should use it?
Stimulators are originally a Western Pattern (I believe), basically in the attractors class of flies. Not specifically designed to imitate anything (like a Catskill tie is supposed to be imitative of mayflies), it usually has enough characteristics to make the fish think "food. big chunk of food".
Generically, a Stimulator has a hair tail/underbody, dubbed body over the underbody, palmered hackle along the body, a down wing of hair, a dubbed head, with more hackle as a collar. Big meaty chunk, usually floats pretty well. In smaller (14/16) sizes, and appropriate colors could be a caddis. Larger sizes (12 up) in yellow, they do a pretty fair grasshopper imitation.
Some people use one as a last resort, others use them as a first resort. I've had good luck either way with a size 12 yellow body in the middle of the summer on the Souhegan.
There are a number of sites that have good collections of fly patterns. You will find several versions of the stimulator at http://www.ultimateflytying.com/DryFly%20Q-S.htm
They are usually tied with orange and/or yellow, but there are other color combos. I often use a big (10 or 12) stimulator as a strike indicator over a nymph.
03-30-2005, 09:31 AM
the stimulator was originated as a take on the western 'sofa pillow', and was meant to be a stonefly, specifically for salmonfly hatch, i believe. but its a great attractor fly, one of those flies that is "everything and nothing" all at the same time.
03-30-2005, 10:50 AM
I've used the Stimulator locally with success as a stonefly immitation. It's worked very well believe it or not and it's a pleasure to fish do to it's buoyancy and visibility.....not to mention ferocious strikes.
03-30-2005, 11:25 AM
I have had good luck using stimulators as both a stone and in smaller sizes like 16's, a caddis. There a great searching pattern to use as the top fly on your dropper set up, last fall i did excellent with a size 12 stimulator and a size 10 black stone fly nymph in the upper conn. I would keep a few different sizes in my fly box, there worth having.
03-30-2005, 02:37 PM
The only drawback to Stimulators that you buy commercially is that they are tied on a straight-eye (ringed eye) hook, rather than the down or up eye common to most dries. This means you have less control over the fly, since you cannot use a Turle knot. Seemingly a minor matter, but I like that little bit of extra certainty that a fly will cock properly.
03-30-2005, 02:44 PM
Heres a little something from the man who originated the Stimulator, Randal Kaufmann: http://www.kman.com/kauf-stimulators.htm
03-30-2005, 02:51 PM
Of all those styles, I've only used the Tan Stimulator. But I've used it in fast freestone streams in NH and the smooth flow of the Manistee in Michigan with equally positive results in sizes #6 - #14.
P.S. - Although some might consider them attractor patterns, they make a good caddis imitation in the small sizes and hopper or stonefly imitation in the larger sizes. And sometimes they don't imitate anything but a juicy snack.
03-31-2005, 03:45 AM
There's a great tutorial for the Stimulator at http://www.troutflies.com
Actually, there's quite a few great tutorials on that site. Harry Mason does a super job in breaking quite a few patterns in an easy to follow step by step set of instructions.
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.