When bull trout are in the Metolius, we like to tempt them with long, bulky streamers, but there are days when a well-drifted pair of nymphs will turn more heads. And the added bonus is that the river’s rainbows are more susceptible to this presentation. Start with a heavily weighted nymph like this Steelhead Stone Purple and run a smaller Baetis nymph in tandem.

Fish this pair of flies with or without a strike indicator. Target principal and secondary seams or look for a thin line of foam to show the best place to cast. Use polarized glasses to watch for any indication of a strike. If you see the white of a rainbow’s mouth, set the hook.

Tie this Steelhead Stone on a strong No. 6 nymph hook. Weight with lead on the shank of the hook. For the tail, use light purple goose biots or an equivalent. Wrap the body with hare’s mask and rib with fine gold tinsel. Wrap the thorax with light UV purple dubbing while tying in pheasant tail “legs” and a wing case of Swiss Straw.

— Gary Lewis, for The Bulletin

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