The Red Tag dry fly has been around for about as long as Orvis has been. Invented in the 1850s by Martyn Flynn–a tier from Worcestershire, England–the dry version was designed to catch grayling. I first learned of the fly about 15 years ago when I fished in Tasmania, where the pattern is very popular. In fact, I missed perhaps the largest brown-trout of my life when I yanked a Red Tag right out of its mouth by striking too soon. That’s the most painful “the one that got away” story of my life.
In today’s video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions walks you through the simple process for tying a wet-fly version of this venerable classic. Tim’s is cleaner than some other examples of a Red Tag Wet I’ve seen, which palmer the hackle all the way down the body, but I bet both are productive. As usual, Tim offers a specific tip for how to best tie in each material, and if you pay attention, you’ll not only end up with a great wet fly, but you’ll add quite a few new tricks to your tying skillset.
Red Tag Wet Fly
Hook: Barbless, 3X-strong nymph hook (here, a Fulling Mill FM51 05), sizes 10 to 14.
Thread: Black, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Tag: Red Antron yarn.
Rib: Gold Ultra Wire, small.
Body: 2 peacock herls.
Collar: Brown hen hackle.
Head: Tying thread.
Adhesive: Head cement.