By Bob Reece
As the winter snows of the Rocky Mountains begin to thaw, a change is set in motion.
The landscape breaks loose and emerges from a crisp exoskeleton of winter. For many fly fishers the pinnacle of this yearly change is the transformation of Pteronarcys californica. Most fly fishers have some familiarity with spring salmonfly hatches that proclaim the beginning of a new season on many of western North America’s freestone rivers and streams. While the salmonfly emergence is one of fly fishing’s most compelling events, success during this time is not guaranteed and often depends of the design of your flies.
The Beefcake Stone is the epitome of a match for this hatch.
While the body of this pattern is rigid, its appendages move easily. The Sexi-floss antennae and tail fibers, along with round rubber legs provide the fly with actively twitching limbs. Tantalizing action is paired with realism by knotting all of the legs. This nicely mimics the prominent leg joints in the adult Pteronarcys. Aesthetic appeal is crucial but without durability it is meaningless. Zap-A-Gap is essential when working with the foam elements of this pattern. It should be applied any time two foam surfaces are placed in contact. At the core of this pattern is the sturdy Tiemco 2499BL. This hook sticks and stays, using an upturned point design to prevent itself from being shaken loose. Its sturdy construction and short shank provide the security to land large fish in high flows that often accompany this event.
Triumph in fly fishing is often signified by a successful meeting of fly and fish. The expectation of this is rarely greater than when you’re standing in the midst of a salmonfly hatch. Don’t leave triumph to chance. Try a Beefcake Stone and find success in the midst of chaotic beauty.
Watch this video and learn to tie Reece’s Beefcake Stone.
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