The Stimulator dry fly is a go-to attractor dry fly, particularly when you’re dry fly fishing during a big stone fly hatch or salmon fly hatch. This dry fly sits up high in the water, even in faster water. Its “bugginess” also makes the Stimulator one of the very best dry flies to use as an attractor dry fly pattern “prospecting” for trout when there is no hatch.Tied on hook sizes 6 to 18
It is recognized as the creation of Randall Kaufmann, a commercial tier who popularized it in the early 1980s. But many credit the original design to Jim Slattery, who first called it his Fluttering Stonefly and then later renamed it the Stimulator. It is also closely related to another fly, the Sofa Pillow, that Pat Barnes developed in the 1940s.
The Stimulator is commonly thought of as an attractor, or searching pattern, because it can resemble many things while imitating nothing in particular. And the fish go for it.
In large sizes and dressed with a salmon-orange body, it can be used to resemble the large black stonefly, also known as the giant salmon fly. In smaller sizes and colors, it is frequently chosen to suggest yellow stoneflies, small yellow sallies, little brown stoneflies and olive sallies. It can also work as a caddis fly. And if that isn’t enough, you can tie it stoutly and even add rubber legs to fish it as a hopper, cicada or beetle.
With all of its built-in flotation, the “Stimi” rides high and is easy to see. That’s a huge plus for those of us who are visually challenged. It works great as an indicator in front of another dry, an emerger or even a nymph dropper.