What is a Stimulator Fly?
The Stimulator often just called "Stims" is an amazing fly trout pattern. The Stimulator fly was originally developed by Randall Kaufmann to imitate a stonefly adult. But that is not the only insect the Stimulator flies can imitate, it can be seen as a grasshopper, caddis or even large drake mayflies! The Stimulator is also a great dry fly for fishing a dropper underneath - indeed on summer stillwaters we see Stimulators with Buzzers suspended below, the Stimulator looks like a caddis or sedge. The bushy profile and deer hair make the Stimulator a highly buoyant fly.
Stimulator Flies Seasonal Usage Guide
Because the Stimulator can imitate a Stonefly, which hatches March to October, or a Caddis or Sedge which hatches from June to October, this fly is al fly for all seasons. We fish this especially through Spring to Autumn.
Fly Fishing With Stimulators
Because of its buoyancy the Stimulator or Stim as it is called, it can be fished in a number of different ways.
1. Stimulator Flies as Dry Flies
Fish the Stimulator on a tapered leader as a standalone Caddis fly / Sedge imitation. Twitch the fly pulling it forward 6 to 12 inches and you will see that typical caddis bow wave as it moves across the water. Stop for a few moments then twitch again, this is really irresistible for trout on rivers and stillwaters.
2. Stimulators With Emerger Rigs
Emergers like CDC Emergers or Sandys Assassins can be put in a team of droppered leaders with a Stimulator fly as the point fly. Trout will frequently investigate and hit the large caddis imitation and when not happy with the caddis they will hit the emerger feeling it is more natural.
3. Stimulator Fly Rig With Buzzers
This has to be one of our favourite rigs. We use the Stimulator fly as both an indicator, fishing fly and buoyancy aid. Put on the top dropper you can keep a team of buzzers at a fixed depth allowing them to drift around where trout are feeding and importantly keeping the flies at the depth trout are feeding. HOWEVER a really neat trick is to use a floating flyline and put the Stimulator as the point fly. This way you can keep buzzers very close to the surface, literally 4 inches deep for example if that is the length of your droppers. This is a great fishing technique when trout are feeding high in the water just below the surface film. You can use a team of one to even 3 buzzers with the Stimulator as either the point fly to keep the team high in the water or on the top dropper if you are exploring the waters, this is a rapid way to find out the feeding depth of the trout.