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Old 03-13-2013, 11:22 AM
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Default Got Rats?

Click the image to open in full size.

and some background on the fly, with flies by the Rusty Rat's first tyer, Clovis Arseneault:Gary

Last edited by Hardyreels; 03-29-2013 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Removed Blog directive, this is against forum rules.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Got Rats?

Gary, cool post! I've never fished for Salmon, or Steelhead, and likely never will. But, I've always liked that series of flies. Relatively simple, yet very productive.

I've tied some for a few folks several times when I was a commercial tier, and have used them for stream Smallmouths. The Gold, & Silver Rats are pretty good Smallmouth flies too.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Got Rats?

One of my favorite easy salmon flies is the Whale River Rat -- basically a simplified version of the original Rat (before it got chewed to inspire the Rusty Rat), with a peacock tail and body, grizzly collar, and squirrel tail wing. The fussy tinsel tip and rib are omitted, which saves a little bit of tying time. I spin a few peacock herls in a dubbing loop with the tying thread for durability; it turns the fragile herls into a sort of peacock chenille and is stronger than over-wrapping them with a tinsel rib.

An even simpler, quicker variation is to omit the tail too and substitute synthetic peacock dubbing, like Arizona or Ice Dub. Dub the body, tie in some squirrel, wrap a couple of turns of collar, done. It's not as elegant, but the fish don't seem to care.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: Got Rats?

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Originally Posted by moucheur2003 View Post
One of my favorite easy salmon flies is the Whale River Rat -- basically a simplified version of the original Rat (before it got chewed to inspire the Rusty Rat), with a peacock tail and body, grizzly collar, and squirrel tail wing. The fussy tinsel tip and rib are omitted, which saves a little bit of tying time. I spin a few peacock herls in a dubbing loop with the tying thread for durability; it turns the fragile herls into a sort of peacock chenille and is stronger than over-wrapping them with a tinsel rib.

An even simpler, quicker variation is to omit the tail too and substitute synthetic peacock dubbing, like Arizona or Ice Dub. Dub the body, tie in some squirrel, wrap a couple of turns of collar, done. It's not as elegant, but the fish don't seem to care.
Whatever floats yer boat.
Gary
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Got Rats?

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Originally Posted by gt05254 View Post
Whatever floats yer boat.
Gary
Oh, this winter I've been tying fancier ones too -- rusty, silver, blue, green. (Also some similarly constructed Cossebooms.) But I can't tie them very fast, and in the summer if I need to replace a few in a hurry, the simpler tie is handy and effective.

Have you ever tried substituting the rusty orange floss on a Rusty Rat with fluorescent orange? I was thinking of trying that the other day, but I wondered if that much fluorescence would be too gaudy.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:19 AM
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Default Re: Got Rats?

While these RR's were being tied for a customer, I've no doubt that a flouro would work well. The Cutty Sark is the one of most successful summer salmon flies I've ever seen, and a portion of its body is flouro...not to mention the tags on BBGB, Glitter bears, and on. Might be a big improvement, ya won't know til ya give it a swim.
Gary
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Got Rats?

Just received my copy of Keith Fulsher's "Atlantic Salmon Fly Tyer: A Memoir", and -- whaddya know? -- his recipe for the Rusty Rat calls for fluorescent orange floss, not rusty orange. So I guess there's my answer.

(But I think with that dramatic a substitution it really ought to be called something else, perhaps "orange rat", to avoid confusion with the original.)
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Got Rats?

Well, I doubt I'd call it a Rusty Rat if I tied it with fluorescent orange. Keith is an old friend...I hooked my first atlantic salmon with a black bear green butt he tied. I'll ask him what he thinks about that, although at 93, he probably doesn't care all that much about what its called. The fly in the photo you're referencing doesn't look all that flourescent, but then the photography in the book as a whole could be better. Look at the difference between the orange floss on the Bondatti's Killer on page 96, which is classically tied with fluorescent orange, and the Rusty Rat on page 128.
In the scheme of things in the universe, probably doesn't matter all that much.
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P.S. apologies to those that don't have the book. Not that big a deal, though, really.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Got Rats?

Just curious but didn't the original call for Silver Monkey for the wing.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Got Rats?

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Originally Posted by bear 007 View Post
Just curious but didn't the original call for Silver Monkey for the wing.
I believe the original Rat, as tied by Roy Angus Thompson (hence "RAT"), had a simple wing of mixed white and black hair. Clovis Arsenault used black-and-white grey fox guard hair for his Rusty Rat, and that has become the most common wing for the whole series of Rats today. I believe it was Charlie DeFeo (Gary: did you fish with him too?) who substituted silver monkey hair for a banded effect. Other substitutes include grey squirrel tail hair and woodchuck guard hair. The essential element in all the variations is the mix of black and white.
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