Steelhead Rat [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Steelhead Rat

03-08-2003, 06:36 PM
Pmflyfisher (Hal)

Steelhead Rat

This is another variation of the famous atlantic salmon fly the Rusty Rat which has many variations. The Rusty Rat is one of a series of tried and true patterns and is the most popular of the bunch.

The Rats were originated in 1911 by Roy Angus Thompson and, his initials R. A. T. are the inspiration for the name of the patterns. In the book, Flies for Atlantic Salmon by Stewart & Allen, they give some of the history of these handsome flies and show several of the other variations of the series. Not all of the RATís were of Mr. Thompsonís origin but, his patterns inspired the others so, the RAT initials have followed the various patterns.
There are many types of rat patterns: rusty, silver, blue, red, black, yellow, purple orange etc.

The standard parts of the pattern are the peacock sword tail, silk floss body of various colors, squirrel hair wing (various colors) hackle of grizzly. Front half of body is always peacock herl.
I tied this one to incorporate the key colors of incorporated in many steelhead flys: chartreuse, orange, and black

Instructions and materials:

Hook: Any up eye atlantic salmon hook
Size: 2 down to size 8
Thread: Red
Tag: Gold french fine tinsel
Tail: 2-3 peacock swords
Rib: Gold french tinsel
Underbody: tinsel or dental floss
Body: Rear - half orange floss, Front - half peacock herl:
Veil: One strand of bright orange floss and one chartreuse floss strand extending back over hook
Under Wing: Chartruese dyed squirrel tail
Over Wing: Black squirrel tail
Hackle: Grizzly collared