How To Tie: Kaufmann Stone

Kaufmann Stone
The Kaufmann’s Stone was developed by the fly-tying author, Randall Kaufmann.

Stonefly nymphs make excellent searching patterns as the larger species spend three years or more as nymphs. With its stout, almost over-sized body, the Kaufmann Stone is one of my favorite stone fly nymph patterns.


Hook: TMC 300, size 4-10
Thread: Black or tan 3/0
Wire: .035 Lead Free
Tail/Antenna: Brown goose biots
Rib: Larva Lace vinyl ribbing
Dubbing: Shaggy dubbing.
Wingcase: Mottled Thin Skin

Step 1:

Starting at the rear, leaving a little space before the bend, wrap the body with the .035 lead free wire, leaving a little space at the front of the hook. Wrap the wire back on top of itself, building up a thorax. This will help build the general shape of the fly.

Step 2:

Tie in your thread at the rear and wrap it around the wire, building a thread dam at the front and the back to keep the wire from sliding back and forth. Nothing needs to be pretty at this point. Return the thread to the rear of the fly.

Step 3:

Build a dubbing ball at the rear of the fly, just a small segment of dubbing which will be a wedge for the goose biot tails. Next tie in the goose biots with the natural curve splaying out on each side of the hook. The length of the biots should be about the quarter of the length of the body. Stone flies have fairly short tails, so be sure to not make them too long.

Step 4:

Tie in the Larva Lace vinyl ribbing, bringing your thread back to the dubbing ball at the rear of the hook. Next, create a dubbing loop and add dubbing. Start the loop a little thinner, then let it get a little more thick further down the loop, which will help with the taper of the fly. You may need to create a couple different dubbing loops to sufficiently wrap the body, stopping just short of the thorax. Wrap the dubbed body with the vinyl ribbing. This will help create the natural segmentation that a stone fly has, as well as bind down the dubbing.

Step 5:

Cut three sections of Thin Skin, each a little bit wider than the other. Next, cut out small notches in each section, just like a stone fly would have. First, tie in the smaller section, centered, on the top, with about a 1/4 inch extending back. Then, add a small amount of dubbing to your thread and and build up a small segment for the next wing pad. Be sure to plan out your spacing on the fly for the three sections of Thin Skin. Tie in another section of Thin Skin, with slight overlap from the first. Tie in the third piece of Thin Skin with the same technique. Each pad of dubbing should be slightly thicker to help bulk up the head. Make sure you leave enough room at the eye to tie in the goose biot antennas.

Step 6:

Tie in the front goose biot antennas. Again, tie them in so that the splay away from the hook, just as they did in the back. Next, add some more dubbing, applying sparsely, over the wraps securing the biots and whip finish. Finally, brush out the dubbing on the underside of the thorax. This will give the fly the appearance of having legs as it moves through the water.

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