Skip to content
Lively Legs Little Black Stonefly

Lively Legs Little Black Stonefly

This is one of those patterns that is sure to cure trout fever during those long winter days where spring is just around the corner. These stoneflies are some of the first bugs to hatch for the year and this marks the start of the early spring season. This particular fly is a great early season pattern and it simply catches fish. The realistic profile and the movement from the rubber legs really sold me on the fly and the trout don’t seem to mind it either! I like to fish this fly from a size 14 down to an 18. You’ll want to adjust the size of the legz as you scale down in hook size. You can also try fishing it in different colors to imitate early brown stoneflies, golden stones, giant stoneflies, or yellow sallies. The sky is the limit. I would like to give a shout out to the Lively Legz crew for coming up with the original pattern. I made some minor adjustments but the overall design is theirs. Kudos! This pattern is not only fun to tie, but fun to fish. Give it a try!


Materials List:

Hook: Tiemco TMC-2302 or TCO 200R - Size 14
Bead: Plummeting Tungsten Bead 7/64" - Matte Black
Thread: Veevus 12/0 - Black
Tail/Antennae: Sili Legs, Nymph - Black
Body: Wapsi Small Stretch Tubing or Micro Stretch Tubing - Black
Thorax: Hareline Dubbin - Stonefly 
Wing Case: 1/8" Sow Scud Back - Black Stone or Thin Skin - Black
Legs: X-Small Lively Legz - Black


Step #1:  Place the bead onto the hook small hole first and place the hook securely into the vice of your choice.

Step #2: Slide the bead back towards the bend of the hook and secure your thread to the hook right behind the eye. Trim the excess thread off.

Step #3: Tie in the antenna. Take a piece of black sili leg material (nymph size) and fold the material over to make a small loop. Place the loop directly on the top of the hook shank so that the loop extends past the hook eye. The length of the antenna is personal preference. Take a pinch wrap with the thread to secure the loop and then a couple more material locking wraps with the thread. Trim the excess material off and set aside. Whip finish the thread and trim the excess. Shove the bead back up to right behind the hook eye. Cut the already formed loop in half. Ideally, the material will splay out at about a 45-degree angle as shown.

Step #4: Tie in the tail. Reattach the black thread to the hook. Trim the excess. Grab the sili leg material used to form the antenna and make sure the two ends are aligned. Secure these ends right behind the bead and work them back deep into the bend of the hook. Trim the material to length. Again, the material should splay naturally. If it isn’t spreading out enough, just take your thread and bring it between the tails and manipulate the material to where you want it to lay. Wrap your thread back up to the bead.

Step #5: Tie in the body. Take a piece of micro stretch tubing in black and tie it in right behind the bead and work the tubing back to the base of the tails. Make sure to secure the tubing to the far side of the hook. Wrap your thread back up to about the halfway point on the hook shank.

Step #6: Wrap the body. Take your micro tubing and make touching turns around the hook shank starting at the base of the tails and working up towards the bead to form perfect segmentations. The more tension you apply to the tubing, the flatter it will lay. For more defined segments, loosen the tubing as you wrap.

Step #7: Tie in the wing case. Take a piece of 1/8” black scud back and secure right behind the bead. Work the material back to where the body ends. Make sure there are no gaps. Take your thread back up to the bead.

Step #8: Tie in the lively legz. To secure the legz, place them directly on top of the hook shank so that they are laying flat. Make sure the front legs are facing forward as shown. We will be using all three sets of legs in this pattern. Take three tight wraps of thread in front of the first set of legs. Take another three tight thread wraps behind the first set of legs. Wrap in between each set of legs until they are secure. Make sure your legz do not rotate off to the side. When finished, clip off the back tab and front tab. 

Step #9:  Dub the thorax and form the wing cases. Make a tight dubbing noodle with your black rabbit dubbing and dub around the back set of legs. Fold the scud back over the back set of legs to form the first wing case and secure with a few wraps of thread. Fold the scud back towards the bend and make a couple more wraps of thread. 

Step #10: Repeat Step 9 with the middle and front set of legz. When it’s all said and done, you should have three distinct wing cases and a completely dubbing thorax that’s slightly bulkier than the abdomen of the fly. When you get to the front of the fly, secure the scud back with tight thread wraps and trim the excess off.

Step #11:  Whip finish the fly. Trim the excess thread.

Step #12:  Reinforce the thread wraps with UV resin. Here, I am using Loon UV Flow and curing with my Loon Infinity light.

Thanks for following along! Tight lines!

Jacob Gilliland works in the TCO - Boiling Springs shop and is a fly fishing guide for Relentless Fly Fishing. To find out more about Jacob, check out his TCO Fly Fishing bio and his Relentless Fly Fishing bio.

Call TCO at 717-609-0169, ext 5 to book a trip, or contact Jacob via email: 

Previous article Top 10 New Dry Flies for 2023 - posted by Fulling Mill
Next article Top Ten NEW Euro Nymphs for 2023 - Posted by Fullingmill

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields