Here is the fly pattern sheet for the Norm Wood Special – Golden Stonefly.

Norm Wood Special |

And a Norm Wood Special Variant with legs.

Norm Wood Special with Legs |



Daiichi 1270 OR TMC 200R, size 8 – 6


Danville 6/0, orange


Fine gold wire (optional – small copper)


STS Trilobal Dub – Golden Stone


Brown hackle


Calf tail – tan, root beer, or “Norm Wood” color


Brown round rubber (Optional)


Brown hackle


Same as body


  1. Start thread on hook and advance to barb.
  2. Tie on fine gold wire at hook barb.
  3. Dub body a little over half of hook shank (don’t crowd head).
  4. Tie in saddle hackle where body ends and wrap to barb using 6 – 8 wraps.
  5. Use wire to tie off and spiral wire forward to lock in hackle. Tie off at hackle tie-in point.
  6. Tie in calf tail extending past end of hook.
  7. Tie in 2nd hackle (wrap in step 10).
  8. Tie in legs.
  9. Dub thorax area.
  10. Wrap hackle
  11. Form head and tie off. Trim thread.


Norm Wood was a fly fishing guide on the Deschutes River for 30 years. This is his “secret” pattern that may have gone through a little evolution. Other materials may have changed over the years, however the tangerine dyed calf tail is as close to the original color as you can find.

It’s difficult to find the right color of calf tail. It’s said Norm had a special dye and that’s what made this fly so effective. Look for the color “Norm Wood” (there really is one). The only fly shop I know who carries this color is The Deschutes Angler in Maupin, Oregon. If you purchase a calf tail or two from them, let them know I sent you! Here’s what you’re looking for:

Norm Wood Color Calf Tail |

If you have problems finding the right color of calf tail, here is the dye recipe and instructions from John Smeraglio, Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop.

  • Rit Powder Dye, (Tan) 1&1/8 oz. box, Product ID # 83160_E   (Use the whole box of this color)
  • The 2nd color is: Rit Powder Dye, (Scarlet) 1&1/8 oz. box, product ID # 83050_E – Use about a half a “tea spoon” of this color, certainly no more than a “full tea spoon”.
  • Use a Large pot to accommodate 12 Calf tails with plenty of room for stirring.
  • Bring water to a soft boil to dissolve the dyes making sure that both colors are mixed well.
  • Put calf tails in pot of water, turn off heat, make certain that all the tails are completely submerged, stir frequently for about 10 minutes.
  • With tongs, take out tails, place them evenly out on some news paper to dry.

Use Copic markers to create wing color – a reader here on RiverKeeper Flies shared he used the color y17 and then a stroke of r17 over the top to create the proper color.

Use undersized hackle or trim the hackle to ensure it floats flat on the water. The calf tail hold the fly in the film, allowing the body to float flush or slightly sunken.

For more information on Golden Stones, check out my blog post Golden Stoneflies.

Here is a link to my RiverKeeper Flies YouTube channel where I demonstrate tying how to tie the fly. 

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