Tying Reece’s Rolling Stone – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Tying Reece’s Rolling Stone

High water in the Bozeman Montana area is just around the corner. We have already seen a few bumps that have rendered rivers like the Gallatin un-fishable. The upside to high water is the warmer fishing conditions, the increased activity of insects, and the fact that fish still have to eat. When an excess of big stoneflies are around all it takes is an extra few inches of water clarity to have a phenomenal day of feeding trout big stoneflies. The Bozeman favorite, the salmonfly, is one of the most active insects during dirty water. Starting now a natural looking salmonfly nymph will work very well until the trout in nearby freestone-rivers are stuffed with these protein rich insects well into July.

Reece's Rolling Stone

If you are looking to tie up a really juicy stonefly pattern that will be very productive on the Upper Madison, Yellowstone, and Gallatin when flows are less than ideal, Reece’s Rolling stone is the answer. This fly is heavy, heavy, heavy. With double tungsten beads and a little extra UV resin this can be fished without split shot in some situations. Reece’s Rolling Stone has a tucked profile like that of a stonefly drifting along the river bottom. Combine that profile with the wiggle of Super Floss and some flashy dubbing and you won’t be able to keep fish away. Not only will this pattern effectively imitate a stonefly nymph in the spring, but when fished in smaller sizes it can be used year round. If an angler is really looking to up their game, tie this in a few size and color variations to cover the full spectrum of Bozeman river stoneflies. Orvis recently featured this pattern on their fly fishing blog and for good reason. Find all of the materials to tie this stonefly in our Bozeman fly shop.

Bob Reece is a junior-high science teacher from Cheyenne, Wyoming, who spends his summer guiding for North Park Anglers in Walden, Colorado. | Thin Air Angler