While fishing a small, stonefly filled stream in Wyoming, I discovered that my flies weren’t heavy enough to feed the fish we were after. So, in short, I needed a pattern that could sink very quickly in shallow, faster water. The Rosetta Stoned Stonefly Pattern has been the answer for that particular situation. This Golden Stone Nymph that can be tailored to match the naturals in your area. The Rosetta Stoned was also featured over at Hatches Magazine so go check it out!


Thread: UTC 140 Rusty Brown
Hook: TMC 777 SP Sz. 2-10
Bead: 5/32 Copper Tungsten
Antennae: Ginger Goose Biots
Weight: .025 lead wire
Tail: Ginger Goose Biots
Underbody: Copper Mirage Flashabou or equivalent
Overbody: Rainy’s Golden Stone Stretch Flex
Thorax: 3 Equal Parts: Hot Yellow Ice Dub, Orange Ice Dub, Rusty Brown Ice Dub
Legs: Brahma Hen Dyed Brown from Whiting.

Fishing info

Fished mainly in the oxygen rich riffles of rivers and streams and everything in between.  On rivers where I know there are large numbers of stoneflies, this pattern can be fished year round and prove successful.  During periods when golden stone nymphs are active, we like to fish this pattern along the edges where the nymphs are found just before “emergence”.  However, during the early summer months it can also be a lifesaver when streams and rivers are blown out due to runoff.  In times of extreme runoff, I like to add ten more wraps of .015 lead behind the initial 12 wraps of .025 lead. Warning: This kind of exposure to lead has been known to cause reproductive harm in the state of California. 🙂

Step by Step:

golden-stone-pattern-01If you choose to add antennae, tie them in first just behind the hook eye. Also,add your bead after you tie in the antennae. Then follow up the bead with 12-14 wraps of .025 lead. (:20)

golden-stone-pattern-02 Before starting your thread on the shank, your fly should now look like this. (:48)

golden-stone-pattern-03 You may choose to mash down the lead with some pliers if you want a more flat, uniform body. (:52)

golden-stone-pattern-04 Bring on the thread. Start behind the lead and wrap back to the bend. This is where you will attach the biots for the tail. (1:12)

golden-stone-pattern-05 With the biots tied in, it should look like this. (1:22)

golden-stone-pattern-06 Now attach your stretch flex or equivalent on the near side of the hook. Pinch it in half first. Then tie it in. Don’t ask questions just trust me on this one 🙂 (1:36)

golden-stone-pattern-07 Clean up the stretch flex tie in area and also at this step you can create a small thread dam between the lead and hook shank. This makes it cleaner for wrapping the body and you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you have clean stonefly imitations in your box. (2:09)

golden-stone-pattern-08 Now attach your flashabou. If you can’t find copper, gold, or silver works just fine too. (2:44)

golden-stone-pattern-09 Advance your flashabou under body by wrapping in touching turns up to just past the lead and tie the flashabou off and trim as well. (3:27)

golden-stone-pattern-10 Now, here’s a little trick. Take a fine point black sharpie and while holding the stretch flex pinched, draw a line directly down the center of the stretch flex. Make it a approx 2-2.5 inches long and you should be golden. Pun intended. (3:47)

golden-stone-pattern-11 Then let the stretch flex go for a few ticks to let the ink dry. (4:08)

golden-stone-pattern-12 While the ink is drying, use your time wisely here and wrap thread up on the lead and try to somewhat cover the lead with thread. This is so your materials used for the thorax wont slide around on the lead. (4:16)

golden-stone-pattern-13 Now you can pinch the stretch flex again and begin wrapping in touching turns to the end of the flashabou. The black line in the stretch flex leaves a pleasing,segmented effect on the body. Not to mention the flashabou  shines through the stretch flex quite nicely. Don’t be afraid to apply some decent tension on the stretch flex in the beginning wrap and then with each succeeding wrap, apply a little less tension. This creates a tiny taper in the body adding to the appeal of the fly. (4:45)

golden-stone-pattern-14 Now after tying off the stretch flex just past the flashabou you are ready to form the wing case. Don’t trim the stretch flex just yet. You can now fold the stretch flex back on the abdomen a tich and clean up with the thread. (5:43)

golden-stone-pattern-15 Dub a noodle here for the beginning of the thorax. Notice the stretch flex is no longer pinched in half while forming the wing case. (6:21)

golden-stone-pattern-16 Prepare your hen feather by trimming off the fluff at the base and selecting and pulling back the fibers you are going to use for the legs. Notice the curvature of the feather in this step….convex or concave…it’s been so long since geometry. Either way, you want the feather to look like this. Bottom side facing up. (6:39)

golden-stone-pattern-17Trim off the tip of the hen feather (7:03)

golden-stone-pattern-18 Dub again over where you tied in the feather using the same size noodle you used in the first dubbing sequence. (7:18)

golden-stone-pattern-19 Now, fold the feather over the section you just dubbed and pull some of the fibers from the feather back. This is your first set of legs. (7:25)

golden-stone-pattern-20 Should look about like that. (7:38)

golden-stone-pattern-21 After a few more wraps of dubbing pull the stretch flex over and secure it with a few wraps of thread. (8:00)

golden-stone-pattern-22 Pull the stretch flex back. Dub again using a smaller noodle this time and then pull back the remaining hen feathers for legs. (8:17)

golden-stone-pattern-23 You should be nearing up to the bead now. Secure the stretch flex here with a few wraps of thread and fold back. (9:05)

golden-stone-pattern-24Dub an even smaller noodle here and fold the stretch flex over that. So you will have a total of three sections on your wing case. Next, clip off the stretch flex and dub a little more right behind the bead. Whip finishing with dubbing on your thread will make it a little cleaner. But, don’t use too much. We want that knot to be well formed and secure. (9:10)

golden stonefly patternYour finished Rosetta Stoned fly should look like this. (9:51)

Rosetta Stoned is a Grant Bench creation

About The Author

The Fly Ninja

I tie fly.

5 Responses

    • Grant Bench

      You are welcome Burton. Thanks for stopping by. Check back for a heavy little chironomid that we’ll be putting up this week. Happy tying!


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