Rowley Stone – Fly Tying Instructional Video

Trout feed on stonefly nymphs year round. This has been the best producing stonefly pattern I’ve fished. The hotspot collar along with the combination of durable materials formed in the outline of a stonefly are a proven success. It has been the #1 producing stonefly in my box for years now.

Brown Trout Stonefly Pattern

Wet Rowley Stone

Wet Rowley Stone

The size of the naturally occurring stonefly varies depending on species. The largest stoneflies are the salmonflies (Pteronarcys) with the golden stones (Hesperoperla and Claassenia) coming in second regarding size. I typically fish the Rowley Stone in a size 6 to represent both species. I will adjust between the dark Rowley Stone and the Golden Rowley Stone depending on which of the larger stoneflies is more present in the river I am fishing. The only other adjustment I make is regarding the weight of the fly. For deep swift currents I fish this fly with a heavy tungsten bead (5/32 for a size 6). If I find myself on a small stream where large stoneflies are found to be the food source of choice I fish it with a brass bead. My box is never void of both the tungsten version, and the brass.

Golden Rowley Stone

Golden Rowley Stone

Golden Stonefly Nymph

It has been fun to experience the development of this pattern. This fly was in the R&D stages for over four years before I was finally content with the final product. Along the way it has caught many fish regardless of the version it was tied in. Creating and developing flies that become irreplaceable pieces in your fly box is just one more reason to spend time at the vice.

Brown w/ Rowley stone

First Version Rowley Stone Four Year Ago


Dark Rowley Stone
Hook: Any nymph hook size 6-8 (Dai-Riki 135)
Bead: Gold Brass or Gold Tungsten (for added weight)
Thread: Black UTC 140
Weight: Lead wire .020
Tail: Black goose biots
Rib: 3x Monofilament 
Back: Dark Brown Net Back Grading Foil (Link Below)
Abdomen: Bronze Peacock Semi-Seal dubbing
Wing case: Dark Brown Net Back Grading Foil
Thorax: Bronze Peacock Semi-Seal dubbing
Legs: Black Krystal Flash and Black Turkey Flats
Collar: Bighorn orange Sow-Scud dubbing
Golden Rowley Stone
Hook: Any nymph hook size 6-8 (Dai-Riki 135)
Bead: Gold Brass or Gold Tungsten (for added weight)
Thread: Camel Uni 6/0
Weight: Lead wire .020
Tail: Natural Brown goose biots
Rib: 3x Monofilament 
Back: Dark Brown Net Back Grading Foil (Link Below)
Abdomen: Mercer’s Crystal Buggy Dubbing Golden Stone (Link Below)
Wing case: Dark Brown Net Back Grading Foil
Thorax: Mercer’s Crystal Buggy Dubbing Golden Stone
Legs: Rootbear Krystal Flash and Natural Pheasant Tail Fibers
Collar: Yellow Hare’s Ear Dubbing

I purchase the Net Back Foil from the Blue Quill Angler Here.

Mercer’s Crystal Buggy Nymph Dubbing also comes from the Blue Quill Angler Here.


Steelhead Nymph-Hotspot Rubber Leg Stonefly

Two years ago while nymphing for steelhead on the Salmon River in Idaho I found myself struggling to catch fish. Like most anglers that day, luck was not in my favor. However, turned out that luck was not the contributing factor to my limited success. Fly selection on my part was probably more responsible for the lack of hookups than anything. This was made evident to me by my friend Chris Cutler who was the only one on the river that day not struggling to catch fish. The guy was killing it while the rest of us wore out our shoulders and pondered what he was doing different to aid in his success. I’m confident it was two things, one, he is a great angler with awesome skills, and two, he was throwing a Hot Spot Rubber Leg Stonefly which was found hanging from the mouth of many of his catches (check out Chris’ blog at Living Fly Legacy). The rest of us continued to pound the river with our own stonefly nymphs, and egg patterns, but the tide never changed in our favor. Needless to say I’ve since tied up dozens of these nymphs and will not be found on a steelhead river without plenty of them.
Hotspot Rubber Leg Stonefly

Traditional Rubber Leg Stonefly patterns have been catching trout like crazy for many years now. By adapting colors that are appealing to steelhead this fly becomes deadly while still being one of the easiest flies to tie around. My preferred method of nymphing is Euro Nymphing for steelhead. This tightline technique has done very well for me, and this fly pattern works very well in this setup.

Wild Idaho Steelhead

I caught this large wild male steelhead last year on none other than the fly mentioned above. It has quickly proven to be a go-to nymph, and I now started most of my days steelhead nymphing by tying one on. Simple to tie, and effective on the stream. Perfect combination!

Prince Kohler Revival

I don’t mean to sound surprised, but this last year the Prince Kohler has flat out kicked butt. You might have the inclination to say, well yeah, it’s a knock off variation of a classic, why wouldn’t it produce fish? You’d be right by saying so, and certainly not disappointed by this particular variant. The flashy olive ice dub collar is probably the ticket most days, and I also love the silver rib and silver bead combination on this fly. I’ve found myself fishing this nymph more and more, especially when my other go-to patterns are not quite producing fish like I expect them too.

Prince Kohler- Prince Nymph Variation

Last Saturday I only had a couple hours to hit up one of my local rivers. Due to my time constraint I stuck in town and fished a stretch close to home. Every time I’ve fished this stretch of water I’ve found that Prince Nymphs, and Prince Nymph variations out fish most other patterns. Such was the case during my short trip to the river that day. With water temps in the upper thirty’s, and no other fishermen around I was able to surprise myself by the number of fish I was able to catch in such a short amount of time. Needless to say I owe a lot of my success to the Prince Kohler.

Prince Kohler-Utah Fly Fishing

Prince Kohler-Provo River

Derek and I often joke/debate as to which Prince Nymph variation is number one. I’m still holding strong to my Black Jack (as do most who have actually given it a shot, unlike Derek:-), but the Prince Kohler, much like its shinny tungsten bead has now taken the silver in this category, which truly is a compliment due to the vast variations which do exist. Of course that is only my opinion, but one fact is I wont be hitting the water anytime soon without at least a few Prince Kohler’s in my box. Good tying everyone, and tight lines!

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