Atlantic Salmon Fly of the week - Blue Rat [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Atlantic Salmon Fly of the week - Blue Rat

11-16-2006, 09:09 AM
This fly is a variation of the Rusty Rat and was invented by the late Poul Jorgensen. Jorgensen was a professional tier, instructor and writer. Many credit Jorgensen with starting the renaissance of classic atlantic salmon fly tying when he wrote his book on the subject “Salmon Flies: Their Character, Style, and Dressing”. This book was actually my first book on the subject. He made the fly for fishing in Iceland were blue flies are extremely productive. This is also a popular fly for displays as many people consider it to be one of the more beautiful hair wings.

Hook: Up eye salmon hook
Tag: Oval gold tinsel
Tail: Peacock sword fibers
Body: Back half Blue floss, front half Peacock herl
Body Vail: Blue floss over back half of body
Rib: Oval gold tinsel
Wing: Grey Fox body hair
Hackle: Grizzly saddle.
Cheeks: Jungle cock and kingfisher or substitute.
Head: Red


11-17-2006, 01:34 AM

His book was also my first on tying salmon flies, unless you want to include George Leonard Herter's PROFESSIONAL FLY TYING, SPINNER, AND TACKLE MAKING book, which had some very cursory material on salmon flies in His (Herter's) usual bombastic prose.

This is also one of those flies that can be useful for steelhead, as can the rest of the RAT series flies.

Earle Fletcher
11-18-2006, 08:16 PM
Gorgeous tie as usual, Charlie. This is one of my all-time favorites. I also bought Poul Jorgensen's book, Salmon Flies" in the winter of 1980. For some reason the Blue Rat struck my fancy, and I tied up a dozen and a half in sizes 2, 4 and 6 to try out on our first trip to the Penobscot River during the second week in June. I didn't have the powder blue floss and the grey fox guard hair, so I subtituted royal blue floss and gray squirrel tail. There were 4 of us fishing together, 2 fishing buddies from Ilion, N. Y., and my father who lived 100 miles from the Penobscot in Strong, Maine. I put on a size 4 Blue Rat that first morning at the Eddington Pool, and hooked and landed a salmon about 20 minutes after I got into the rotation. On my second trip, I got another one in the top the pool and was done for the day. Needless to say, my fishing partners wanted me to share the new killer flies with them. They were divided up with my father getting a couple extra, as he had a bad habit of knocking off his flies on the rocky shore. Their luck immediately improved, and we had a very successful week of salmon fishing.

My next trip with my father was to the Pavilion water on the St.-Jean River for the last 4 days in June. By then I had tied up a big batch of Blue Rats in all sizes, including some with all the right materials. We got there a day early and fished the Dartmouth for the first time. I got one in Snake and lost two in Stony Brook, all on the royal blue version of the Blue Rat. Fishing at the Pavilion was fantistic. We were the only 2 fishermen there. For some reason unknown to us, everyone else had cancelled out. We had a new set of guides every day and the famous Austin Clark was one of them. Other than two I caught on a dry fly, all of our salmon were caught on Blue Rats.

In August my father and I fished the George River at Helen's Falls. We fished mostly with hitched Green Butts, but I did put on the Blue Rat long enough to catch two salmon to complete the "hat trick" plus one for the 1980 salmon season.

This fly has been very good to me over the last 26 years, and just the sight of it brings back many treasured memories.

Earle Fletcher