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.