Register now on! Login

Blog > Fly Tying > Fall Fishing: The WhoGARA Stonefly

Fall Fishing: The WhoGARA Stonefly

Published by Maurice Chioda [Maurice] on 09/26/2012 (5354 reads)
By Maurice

Resized ImageThe Fall season marks the return of shorter days, cooler nights and lower stream temperatures on our more marginal waters around the Commonwealth. Many trout waters ride the razors edge on harboring wild trout. We see lots of ATW's with wild trout during the cooler months of spring and winter. Usually these waters are rather large, their watersheds are made of many wild trout tributaries. Often the main stem which warms in Summer are believed to be transitional wild trout waters. Ones that have their wild trout leave the warmer stream during the heat of summer only to have them return in the fall to the larger water with better habitat and cover as well as forage. Or they hunker down, find thermal refuge through springs seeps, tributary mouths or deeper water. It is the fall season when I like to sample the bigger waters to see if I can scare up some of these Wild Brown Trout.The ones that made it through the tough months, the survivors.

Resized ImageIt is this type of fishing that I enjoy the most. Often no one else is fishing, the air is crisp, the water cool and clear and solitude abounds. But lets face it, the business at hand is to touch a few survivors. So I like to use a fly I know will get them to take a look and grab it. Now not just any goto fly. No, not a Green Weenie, Goodness NO! They are for old men and children! Although I have been known to use them I would prefer to fish "off the junk". My good friend and fellow board member Fritz often texts me pics at work during the week of him tearing up the York County waters with the Weenie, I kid him but it works. I am just too stubborn to use it. Its pretty clear that the success of the Weenie is largely due to the color, Chartreuse.

One of my favorite goto Fall flies on Muddy is a Yellow Stonefly nymph. So I am thinking...maybe I will tie up a few and when selecting the white rubber legs from a bass jig skirt; I wade past orange, green,chartreuse. Wait a minute, thats not a bad idea. Chartreuse legs. Yeah, like a Weenie color, but not a weenie. This might be the ticket. I mean until someone sees the pics of this fly with chartreuse legs in the trouts mouth. Ahhhh, Who Gives A Rat's Arse.

This marks the birth of the WhoGARA stonefly. Following is a tutorial for tying this simple yet effective fly. Now using it anytime but the Fall may bring scorn over you but if someone gives you a ribbing just tell them the name. WhoGARA! It catches fish. I only fished for two hours in marginal water and landed three wild browns and lost two larger ones, turned and moved several more. I am convinced that it got the attention of nearly all of the trout it drifted past.

WhoGARA Stonefly
You will see by the tutorial that details are not important.
Hook: WhoGARA big hook - #12 2xl streamer.
Thread: Olive (WhoGARA) it gets covered anyway.
Underbody: 18ga.Wire (WhoGARA - I used electric motor windings)
Tail: Brown goose biots.
Body: Yeller dubbin.
Wing case: Pheasant tail fibers.
Rib: Copper Wire, WhoGARA, it just protects the Pheasant fibers.
Legs: Chartreuse Spinner Bait Skit string.
Thorax/head: Same Yeller Dubbin.

Step 1: Put a base layer of thread on the hook to keep the wire from sliding around the hook. Don't worry about the lengths of wire being the same, remember WhoGARA.
Resized ImageResized Image

More after the break Here Resized Image

Step 2: Tie in a little ball of dubbing behind the wire at the bend. This will keep the biots/tail separated.

Step 3: Then tie in the biots on both sides of the hook.

Step 3: Select the Pheasant tail fibers, about 1/4" wide.

Step 4: Tie in the Pheasant tail fibers (by the tips),

Step 5: Tie in the Wire Rib and Dub the body forward to 2/3 allowing for a thorax.

Step 6: Fold over the Pheasant tail fiber wing case to the dubbing and tie in, Try to keep it wide but if you cannot, WhoGARA. Then counterwrap the wire rib to the thorax. Tie in and trim wire only, Fold back the Pheasant tail fibers toward the bend.

Step 7: Now for the legs, This is a good way to tie legs for hoppers too. Take spinner bait/bass jig skirt fiber and tie a knot in both ends. Then cut in half. I get four leg bends out of a single fiber. (shown is a 1/2 fiber).

Step 8: Make a turn of dubbing before tying in the legs and then two turns between legs then two in front.

Step 9: Now flip the wing case over the thorax and tie in. Trim the extra fibers to allow a tag over the eye and cut out the center near the eye to make the mandibles.

I like to fish this fly alone, no tandems. With a little weight and no indicator. Cast in upstream to the head of a run and strip the slack in while the fly drifts down through the run. Or across and down on a swing changing the speed with strips twitches and stops by giving line. Trout often follow looking for a lifelike change in tempo before picking it up. But its a nymph so you can fish it like one as well. Fish it however you want... Remember WhoGARA! It catches fish.

About Maurice:

Resized Image
A Moderator with PAFF since 2000, Maurice migrated from the trout poor SWPA to SCPA to follow his passion for trout fishing on the fly. Of course part of that had to do with finding a job there. He brought with him 15 years of tying and fishing for trout. An avid Steelheader while living in the 'burgh left a hole in his fall and winter fishing options. To fill them he began scouring the local stocked trout waters in York County. (Muddy Creek, Codorus Creek, Yellow Breeches),and many other options inside and outside the county. Wild trout became a thrill once he discovered their presence in unexpected places. Trout Unlimited volunteer opportunities and leadership roles broadened the passion of flyfishing and even career paths. He now works in the field of environmental riparian design and construction. He currently lives in York with his Wife Beth and four children ranging from 13-22 years of age.

  Send article

Navigate through the items
Previous article Fly of the Month: J River Dirty Fry Fall Fishing: Blue Winged Olive CDC Cripple Next item
The comments are owned by the author. We aren't responsible for their content.
Author Thread
Published: 2012/10/1 14:07  Updated: 2012/10/1 14:07
Joined: 09/09/2006
From: Hatfield, Pa.
Comments: 28
 Re: Fall Fishing: The WhoGARA Stonefly
Thanks Maurice,
I'm gonna' tie some of them and try them out, but do I have to say WhoGAGA everytime I cast to make them work?
Published: 2012/10/3 22:42  Updated: 2012/10/3 22:42
Joined: 09/09/2006
From: Dallastown, PA
Comments: 1407
 Re: Fall Fishing: The WhoGARA Stonefly
Um, its WhoGARA and you only need to say it if you are shunned for catching all the fish in the stream.
Published: 2012/10/13 20:56  Updated: 2012/10/13 20:56
Joined: 08/30/2012
From: Lehigh County
Comments: 4
 Re: Fall Fishing: The WhoGARA Stonefly
Good to read a story about Muddy Creek. I miss the river hills,
Spencer Run, Tom's Creek, and the others in S. York. Good wild
fish here in the Lehigh Valley, but it's not nearly as peaceful. If
you get a chance, come East to the Little Lehigh, Saucon, or
Bushkill Creeks.
Lee Creyer
Published: 2012/10/16 23:44  Updated: 2012/10/16 23:44
Joined: 09/09/2006
From: Dallastown, PA
Comments: 1407
 Re: Fall Fishing: The WhoGARA Stonefly
Good to hear from you Lee.
Published: 2012/11/1 10:38  Updated: 2012/11/1 10:38
Joined: 02/04/2009
Comments: 9
 Re: Fall Fishing: The WhoGARA Stonefly
Maurice: Good article, will tie some up this winter. You may remember me, met you and Dave K. at Boiling Springs a few years back. Take it easy on the green weinies, it is how I made my reputation (pretty sad)...and I'm not sure sure about the chartreuse legs; given any thought to making the whole fly chartreuse. Ron
Published: 2012/12/18 0:08  Updated: 2012/12/18 0:08
Joined: 09/09/2006
From: Dallastown, PA
Comments: 1407
 Re: Fall Fishing: The WhoGARA Stonefly
Stumbled upon your post Ron....I remember. I believe you had some other contraband flies in that box too that day. Haha

Site Content
The New Keystone Fly Fishing Book
Which voluntary permits will you purchase in 2019
Wild Trout Permit
Habitat Improvement Permit
Musky Permit
Bass Permit
Trout Stamp
Erie Stamp
Combo Stamp
The poll will close at 2019/3/13 20:37

Copyright 2018 by | Privacy Policy| Provided by Kile Media Group | Design by