When I was a fly fishing youth, my favorite fly was the Simulator. I used it everywhere, especially in the high mountain streams and lakes where I cut my fly angling teeth. The fact that the Stimulator is not often thought of as a lake fly didn't bother me at all. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a fish explode through placid lake water on a stimmy, I would call out: "you've been stimulated!" Sure, it was kind of dorky, but that was the point (I like to think so anyway).
Over the years I have found myself tying on the Stim a little less often. In a review of my fishing log from last year I realized (to my dismay) that I didn't catch a single fish in 2007 on Randall Kaufmann's fly. I am pretty sure I did not even fish it. Why? I'm not sure. I guess part of reason lies in my habits. I fish more hatches than I used to and I find myself sliding on an indicator when when the fish aren't rising a lot more than I ever did 10 years ago. Plus I have an unquenchable thirst for new fly patterns, sometimes to my detriment.
Last week I found myself on a small stream with an hour to fish. I saw a trout rise in a current seam upstream. I noted the caddis darting in and out of the bushes and a few of the bugs on the water. So I dutifully knotted on an X2 and proceeded to miss a strike. Then I couldn't raise a fish. I began rifling through my caddis box and nothing grabbed me, nothing said "tie me on, I'll paste them." So I sat on the bank and checked out my other boxes. Their, in the attractor dry fly box, a whole compartment was dedicated to my old friend the Stimulator. I grabbed an orange and yellow bug, tied him on and proceeded to land a gorgeous brookie whose color more than made up for its dinkiness. And when I hooked that fish I couldn't help but say out loud "you've been..."