Rusty Rat Salmon Fly

Rusty Rat - Variation

(With Instructions)

Tier:  Ed Gallop



Hook:  Daiichi 2051 Alex Jackson

Thread:  Red.

Tag:  Fine oval gold tinsel.

Tail:  3 Peacock sword fibers.

Rib:  Medium oval gold tinsel.

Body:  Yellow Floss.

Thorax:  Peacock herl.

Veil:  Yellow floss tied in at front of body.

Wing:  Grey fox guard hairs.

Collar:  Grizzly hen hackle.

Cheeks:  Jungle Cock eyes.


Note:  The Rusty Rat body is normally tied with half floss behind half peacock herl but I tied this one with ribbed floss for 2/3rd of the body to give it more of a streamline look.  Also, the ribbing is normally applied over the floss and herl but I prefer the herl without ribbing.  


There are different versions of the Rusty Rat.  Frank Amato ties one with a gray squirrel wing an unribbed red floss body and veil.  Poul Jorgensen ties a series of different Rats in his Salmon Flies book.  Paul Dieter has a Rusty Rat broach pin on this page with a ribbed red floss body and a red hair wing.  


If you know the origin of the Rusty Rat please email the information to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and the information will be included here.  Or even better, submit your version for a page of it's own.




Step 1.  Tie in the oval gold tinsel tag positioned as shown (just ahead of the barb to the point).



Step 2.  Tie in the peacock sword fibers (three) for the tail, extending to or just past the rear most part of the hook.



Step 3.  Tie in a section of oval gold tinsel to be used for the ribbing in Step 4.  Then tie in the yellow floss and wrap over 2/3rd of the body, about 1/2 of hook shank on a Alex Jackson salmon hook.  If the floss is too thin for the desired body then wrap back and forward until reaching the thickness desired.  









    Step 4.  Wrap ribbing over floss body.  If you wish to rib the front herl section (Step 6) then leave enough tinsel hanging or wait to wrap it until the herl is tied in.


    Step 5.  Tie in the yellow floss veil.  If the floss is too thin then simply add 2 pieces, trimmed evenly, to extend about midway of the tail.  Then tie in 3 or more peacock herl fibers (enough to complete body).  Wrap thread to where front of body will end.  Leave enough room to tie in wing and collar.



    Step 6.  Wrap herl body as shown and tie off.











Step 7.  Tie in gray fox guard hairs (stacked evenly).




Step 8.  Tie in grizzly hen hackle.  Using wet fingers (saliva) pull the fibers together toward the rear and perpendicular to the hackle stem and wrap as you do it.  Only wrap 2 or 3 turns because too much hackle will not look good.  



Step 9:  Tie in the jungle cock eye for the cheek, angled along with the wing.   Build up the head with thread and coat with cement.  I use "Hard as Nails" clear fingernail polish.



As you probably noticed, I tied the body shaped slightly thinner toward the front.  I did this on purpose because I like the tapered look.  If you prefer a straight level body simply wrap it that way.

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