It being Independence Day and all, I figured the Patriot was the perfect fly to showcase. In a sport where exact imitation is often the name of the game, this fly stands out like a garish piece of costume jewelry. But it works great as a way to get the attention of fish who aren’t actively feeding on something specific. Pennsylvania legend Charles Meck invented the pattern three decades ago:
When I first tied the pattern I called it the RB Coachman. The RB stood for “really blue” and the body was first tied with barbules from a blue marabou feather. Shortly after Krystal flash came on the market I substituted that product in smolt blue for the body. When I first showed the pattern to Art Gusbar he looked at it and said we should call it the Patriot because it has red, white and blue in the pattern. I handed Art one of the patterns and urged him to try it. Art tied on the pattern immediately and began casting it on one of Pennsylvania’s top tailwaters, the Youghiogheny River, just below the town of Confluence in southwestern Pennsylvania. On the second cast Art hooked onto an 18-inch rainbow on the Patriot.
Meck passed away a few years ago, and his friend Paul Weamer wrote this great remembrance.) Here’s a good video from intheriffle.com that shows you exactly how to tie this great attractor pattern.
Hook: 1X-long nymph hook, here a Dai-Riki 60, sizes 12-18.
Thread: Red UTC, 70 denier.
Wings: White calf body hair.
Tail: Brown hackle.
Body: Pearl Flashabou and red thread.
Hackle: Brown dry-fly hackle.
Head: Thread and head cement.