Redfish Rattle Fly (Step-by-Step)

Redfish Rattle Fly:

This week’s Step-by-Step is a simple streamer pattern credited to Florida fishing guide, Chris Myers. While the original creation, tied in tan & black, was developed (as the name implies) for targeting redfish and speckled trout in stained water, the pattern was actually referred to me as a great streamer pattern for ultralight fly fishing (Rods rated 3-wt or less).

Tied sparsely this pattern is ideal for the latter pursuit, creating minimal wind resistance while still providing a fairly large baitfish profile in the water. Coupled with the added draw of the rattle feature, I’ve found it a hard to beat streamer when fishing my Echo Base 3-wt.


Materials:
Gamakatsu Stinger (B10s) #4 Ultra Thread 70 Denier 8mm Glass Beads (2x)
Crystal flash over Bucktail
Loon UV Resin
Monofilament (10 lbs)

Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

(Click images to enlarge)


Tips and Tricks:

  1. Keep it Sparse – Less is always more with bucktail and that adage holds true with this fly. Sparser bucktail lays down more evenly and provides greater action in the water.
  2. Quality Bucktail Matters – Notice how the red hairs splay more than the white? I was using a 20+ year old clump of hair from a kit given to me as a teenager. I cannot say for certain whether the material was the coarser, less than ideal hair from the base of a bucktail or actually a small clump of deer body hair. In either case, I would have been better served with quality bucktail.
  3. Match the Hatch – The original tan pattern was meant to mimic a shrimp, but keep in mind the color of your native baitfish when tying. The red in this pattern was added as I originally intended to use this fly to target pickerel (still haven’t gotten around to that), but I’ve had great success with patterns consisting of primarily white bucktail and flash on the streams I target as pale colored, flashy shiners are abundant.
  4. Finding Glass Beads – While Hareline and a few other companies sell glass beads, I’ve found the price and selection at craft and hobby chain stores to be hard to beat. For under $10, you can likely get a lifetime supply in a variety of colors and sizes. If you know what you want, you may walk out the door for under $2. Save on beads, so you can spend on the specialty items later.
  5. When in Doubt…Super Glue – Thread isn’t always enough to secure rattle’s mono loop. More than once I have had the mono tear pull free after one or two fish. To avoid this, I have begun securing the mono loop with Super Glue on recent ties. Problem solve!

Proof of Concept:

Though I’ve yet to test this pattern in the marsh as it was originally intended, I can confirm that it has proven extremely effective targeting spotted bass in smaller streams and rivers.

Cast to the head of a deep pool and allowed to swing down and cross current with a slow, twitching retrieve, this fly has proven to be a killer. Fished in tandem, I’ve now landed at least a dozen spotted bass, and lost two likely over the 1.5 lbs mark, prospecting deep pools in just this manner on recent visits to the Florida parishes.

Give it a try next time you’re out for a wade. Or better yet, tie it in the original tan and see if the redfish come calling!

Tight Lines Everyone!

-Chris


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