Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Forest Ranger

Salmon flies continue to evolve, with new patterns and styles being produced all the time.  One of the more beautiful, and still functional salmon flies I have been introduced to in a very long time is the Forest Ranger, invented by Dave Burns.  Here is the history of the fly in his own words.  
"I started tying a fly that I called the Forest Ranger in August 1994 as a going away gift for a Forest Service employee.  I did one again in November 2007 as a contribution to a Payette Employees Association fund raiser for scholarships.  That triggered a lot of popularity for the pattern and I've tied somewhere around a dozen since, mostly for moving rangers or retiring rangers or such.  I have varied the materials some but here's the pattern from my logs:" 

Hook:  6/0-8/0 Harrison Bartleet; 
Tag: copper tinsel, or copper wire and pale green silk; 
Tail: golden pheasant crest (gpc) with veil of cardinal, red bishop, or red golden pheasant neck feather; 
Butt: black ostrich herl, or bronze peacock herl; 
Body: 1/4 orange silk, then orange (sometimes omitted), fiery brown, green and maybe black mohair, or seal; 
Ribs: copper tinsel and copper (or gold) twist; 
Hackle: brown, or furnace from the silk body section; 
Throat: guinea dyed green; 
Wing: two back to back jungle cock with two pair of tippets over as in the Durham Ranger, gpc over; 
Sides: jungle cock; 
Cheeks: green parrot or pita; 
Horns: green parrot; 
Head: black lacquer or herl to match the butt.

Naturally I also wanted to give this fly a shot, so, here is my rendition, with slight changes due to shortage of certain materials.  I fully plan to fish this pattern over steelhead this fall.  

In this version I have used Impyan pheasant for the cheeks, and scarlet macaw for the tail.  Hook is a Partridge 3/0 CS 10/3, body is seal.  I love the Pryce-Tannatt look of a well picked out seal body, and usually will incorporate this feature into my seal bodied patterns.  Underwater the sparkle and liveliness of the fur adds to it's killer ability.  

1 comment: