Fly of the Month – Renegade

From February-March 2016 newsletter
Fly, Notes and Photos by Steve Schalla

Used by Permission

renegade-fly1.jpgHook: TMC 100 #12-18
Thread: Uni-thread Black 8/0
Body: Peacock Herl
Tag: Gold Mylar Tinsel
Rear Hackle: Brown hackle (Hen for wet fly, Rooster for dry fly)
Front Hackle: White hackle, 1-2 sizes larger than Rear hackle (Hen for wet fly, Rooster for dry fly)

This pattern can be used on both river and lake. In small sizes it can work as a midge cluster pattern and, in larger sizes, it might be considered an attractor pattern. Devised in Idaho on the Malad River by guide Taylor “Beartracks” Williams in 1928, it was an excellent pattern for cutthroat trout. It has a white front hackle for superb visibility. The rear brown hackle provides stable positioning on the water and the peacock herl body has been an ultimate material for attractor patterns such as the Zug Bug and Royal Coachman. Williams became the first guide at the Sun Valley Lodge in 1937 and was a close friend to Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway spoke favorably of the Renegade pattern from experiences with wary rainbows on Silver Creek in 1940. Numerous variations have sprung forth with the Reversed Renegade, Double Renegade, Renegade Nymph, and Royal Renegade

renegade-fly2.jpgThe Renegade can be fished either as a wet fly or dry fly. As a dry fly, the Renegade can be cast upstream towards feeding trout. The Double Hackles provide excellent flotation and visibility. Another method is to cast across and slightly upstream, letting the fly float downstream. Once the fly is below you, pull it upstream as a wet pattern. Choice of hackle materials will determine whether the pattern is primarily a wet fly or dry fly. You can use the stiffer Whiting Rooster Saddles for excellent flotation as a dry pattern or use Hen Saddles for a wet pattern. Either way, they are tied in a collar style. On lakes, the pattern can be a good choice when trout are feeding on chironomid emergers particularly during the early evening , used with a floating line and floro leader.

[Editor’s Note: At our October monthly meeting, Toner Mitchell provided an excellent talk on fishing the Rio Grande from the John Dunn Bridge north to Latir Creek, and recommended this fly pattern fished as a wet fly, deep, in size #10. Other flies that he recommended for this section were big streamers in yellow or with yellow highlights.]

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