Published Jan 16. 2010

Chuck's FlutterStone

An ideal amount of action, buggyness and overall attractiveness packed into the perfect stonefly profile.

Chuck's FlutterStone -
Henry's Fork rainbow - This Henry's Fork rainbow fell victim to a dead drifted FlutterStone
Chuck's FlutterStone

I was inspired to create this fly while I lived in Eastern Idaho working as a guide on the South Fork of the Snake River. The South Fork along with several other rivers and streams in the area including the Teton River and the world famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake boast jaw dropping hatches of the two giant stoneflies: Pteronarcys californica commonly called “Salmonflies,” and the “Golden Stones,” of the family Perlidae.

Having three of the finest dry fly rivers in the West as my testing grounds enabled me to put some serious trial and error into the design of these stoneflies.

Teton River - A beautiful run on the Teton River in Eastern Idaho
May/June hatch - Stoneflies hatch during high runoff periods in May/June on the Henry's Fork so a bug that will float well is a must
Lower Mesa Falls - Lower Mesa Falls marks the beginning of the canyon section on the Henry's Fork, and great salmonfly fishing!
Great rivers

I had the chance to observe hundreds of specimens and put together what I believe to be a fly with the ideal amount of action, buggyness and overall attractiveness packed into the perfect stonefly profile.

Charles Robinton

The FlutterStone combines the qualities of two of my favorite stonefly imitations: the Rogue Foam Stonefly and the Stimulator.
The Rogue Foam is great because of its ultra realistic slim profile and segmented foam body. It rides low in the surface of the water but floats all day because it is made from buoyant foam and deer hair. Fish love the realism of this fly as it is dead drifted over their snouts during stonefly season and it has caught me my fare share of lunkers.

The Stimulator is another bug that has unmatched popularity among anglers. Its design makes it useful as a general attractor or to match a number of different adult terrestrial and aquatic insects. Unlike the Rogue Foam Stonefly the Stimulator is tied with thick bushy hackle palmered up the abdomen and thorax, which helps the fly to ride high on the surface of the water. The high riding design of this fly allows a skilled angler to flutter and skate the fly on the surface of the water and induce heart-stopping takes from big fish!

Stone collection - From left to right: Rogue Stone, FlutterStone, and Stimulator

Each of these flies has a unique profile and sometimes the fish can be in the mood for one over the other. It is common to see anglers carrying many different stonefly patterns in order to seduce picky eaters. In general this is a good idea, however these are large flies and with all the patterns available on the market an angler could easily fill his entire fly box with just adult stoneflies! This is why having a single versatile fly that can be easily modified to fit a specific presentation can be invaluable.

Pondering the need for such a bug I designed the FlutterStone. The segmented foam body and bullet head along with the low profile wing give it convincing realism, while the clipped hackle wrap and rubber legs add action and movement. You can cut the legs short and tie the wing sparse to create a stonefly with a slim, unobtrusive profile or you can give it a fuller wing and leave the legs extra long to suggest the fluttering wings of an egg laden adult struggling in the surface of the water. Fish it dead drifted or skate and twitch it to add action. It all depends on the mood of the fish so experiment until you find what works. Good luck and have fun!

Ready to go - Preparing to launch for a day of dry fly fishing on the South Fork
Suckers for stoneflies - Large rainbows like this one are suckers for a well presented stonefly!
Big brown - Browns on the South Fork also love a good stonefly pattern
Cuttie - Even the beautiful Snake River Cutthroat love this bug
Stonefly fishing

Chuck's FlutterStone

Pattern type: 
Dry fly
Charles Robinton
TMC 5263 (4-10)
Fly Master Plus 210 Denier for large patterns, Flymaster 6/0 for smaller flies. For salmonflies use fluorescent orange or rusty orange, for golden stoneflies use gold or yellow/orange.
2 sheets of 2mm closed cell foam sandwiched together to create color contrast. For salmonflies use black or brown for the top and orange for the bottom, for goldens use a brown or tan back and gold or yellow for the belly
Belly flash
Pearl krystal flash wrapped around hook shank
Brown grizzly rooster cape palmered around foam body and clipped short
Krystal Flash
1mm clear packing foam
Deer or elk body hair. Natural for Salmonflies, bleached for goldens.
Bullet head
Deer or elk body hair. Black or brown for Salmonflies, brown for Goldens
Medium round rubber for large flies. Micro round rubber for small ones. Try barred rubber and superfloss for added attractiveness!
See tying steps
Charles Robinton


please explain your name "Chocolate Bubunga" what does that MEAN?! i must know

this thing changed the way i fish! finally perfected tying it. some smart fish have fallen for this. flutter utter magic!

Do you buy the 1mm packing foam at a fly shop or craft store?

In your country is very many stone fly and i will try it on spring....Very realistic patern

Great pattern and good pics. Thanks! Keep in mind that these types of flies can really be hard on light tippets. They have a tendency to "helicopter" in the wind, twisting the tippet. Thanks again for posting cause I have been struggling to tie this pattern for awhile now!

nice one...( although we don't have stoneflies in our country..)

I liked the article! Thanks for the ideas.

nice article hank!

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