“The Atomic Stone Nymph is the product of a Salmon Fly nymph needed for the big tail waters of the West Cost, specifically here on the Deschutes River. I first started developing this pattern back in the 90’s. At that time the most common stone nymph available was the Kauffman’s Stone. While this pattern fit the bill for shape and size it has one major drawback, it’s almost impossible to sink it in swift, deep runs. The Atomic Stone was designed to sink, and sink fast. Starting with the heavy tungsten bead followed by a lead wrap, and then the placement of the lead along the sides. The lead sides do two things for the fly, first they give the fly extra weight needed to sink, and secondly, they create the basic shape of the stone nymph without having to create too much bulk with dubbing. By keeping the dubbing thin the fly will not trap air, thus adding to its sink rate even more. Over the years I have refined the fly, adding the feather stem antenna, the addition of rubber legs, and the last addition, (one of the best in my opinion), is the addition of gills. Large mature Salmon Fly nymphs have very prominent white gills under their thorax. Most patterns today omit this attribute. I think the white gills create a trigger for trout as it creates just enough flash without over doing it, as well as matching the natural insect drifting through the current.
Over the years this pattern has been responsible for many great days on the water, most of the time being the sole pattern responsible for hook ups. The pattern is very durable, and can easily take the abuse that even post spawn Redsides can dish out. Once spring hits there’s no debate on what fly pattern goes on point for the basic nymph rig.” – Signature Tyer Brian Hudspeth