MARK KRIGE TIES PHILLIP MEYER’S BRILLIANT HALO-HACKLE PARACHUTE RAB VARIATION
MARK KRIGE PEN SKETCH
Mark Krige at the vice
Mark has been fishing since he was four years old. He is a fly fishing guide, coach of the Boland and the South African national junior fly fishing teams and represents the Tim Rajeff range of Echo fly rods in this country. He ties professionally and in my view rates among the very best fly tiers in South Africa today. On deer hair flies he is without doubt world class.
PHILLIP MEYER’S PARACHUTE RAB VARIATION
According to Mark Krige, Phillip Meyer, a well known Western Cape fly fisher, first tied the famous Cape dry fly, the RAB, in the parachute style. Not that long back Shane Van Laun who worked for Philip at the time, then tied a parachute RAB on a Klinkhamer hook and called the pattern the Hammer RAB! That was a few years ago, but it was Mark’s brother in law, Phillip Meyer, who recently took the pattern a big step further by adding squirrel tail fibers parachute style and turned it into what I believe will be a killer pattern, particularly on clear, riffled freestone waters. In fact, I give it my best-new-dry fly-of-the-year award. It has everything a good emerger pattern should have and in the absence of any foam at the thorax it’s going to float well into the surface film rather than right on it. The white or hot pink post makes it very visible, but it’s the long, sparse squirrel tail fibres that give this pattern a spectacular sub-surface profile, wonderful movement and real buggyness.
WHAT YOU NEED TO TIE THIS FLY
Hook: There is a wide choice from all conventional shrimp or caddis pupa hooks; for example Grip model 14723, or Tiemco model TMC 2487G, or as Mark prefers, the Dohiku 664 barbless in sizes 14 and 16.
Thread: Danville (or equivalent) pre-waxed 6/0 bright red.
Tail: Fibres from a Coq de Leon cock saddle hackle, but any cock hackle will work, all the better if the fibres are barred or speckled.
Body: A single peacock herl stripped of its flue.
Rib: Fine copper or fuse wire.
Thorax: Peacock herl.
Post: Frizz Fibre or equivalent in white or pink. ( http://www.fishient.com/materials/frizz_fibre.htm)
Legs/feelers: Squirrel tail fibers. We use the Eastern Grey Squirrel, native to the Eastern United States and Canada, later introduced to the UK and then by Cecil John Rhodes to the Western Cape.
Halo-hackle: Squirrel tail hair. Mark and I both use the local Cape squirrel. The fibres are very long and prettily barred.
(Note: I think poly yarn would do just as well for the post.)
Dress the hook shank with tying thread, adding the tail fibres near the middle of the shank and then winding thread over them until deep into the bend.
Now wrap back up the shank leaving a millimetre or two of red tying thread at the butt as a ‘hot spot’. Tie in a length of copper wire at this spot.
Just alongside the wire, tie in the stripped peacock herl and wind the thread back to near the thorax of the fly.
Coat the thread body with Super Glue. This will add strength and prevent the herl from unravelling on the first fish!
Wind on the peacock herl covering the body and then rib the herl with wire. Tie off the wire and peacock herl and trim. Note the red tag.
To begin the post select a small sheaf of Frizz fibres about 3 cms long and loop them under the hook shank, pulling upwards on the free ends to anchor the fibres against the underside of the hook shank. Trap the front of the fibres with a few turns of thread.
Now put in turns of thread behind the post and vertically around its base and the post is well anchored.
Tie in a peacock hurl at the base of the post and just above that, tie in the butt end of the dun hackle.
Bring the tying thread right alongside the herl. Apply pill rolling’ movements (as in when applying dubbing to thread) using the pulp of the thumb and forefinger to ‘twist’ or fix the peacock herl onto the thread.
Now cover a thorax area with wraps of peacock herl.
Wrap the parachute dun hackle around the post. Three full wraps should do it.
Mark now traps the dun hackle by wrapping turns of tying thread through it in the horizontal plain before trapping the stalk against the shank just behind the eye of the hook. Here he puts in two or three wraps of thread and anchors with a half hitch knot.
Select about a dozen fibres from the tail of a squirrel. Lifting the parachute hackle out of the way, tie the butt end of the fibres in a few millimetres behind the eye. The stalks are left short but protruding.
Wrap thread back over the stalks to trap them securely. This method really anchors the fibres well and prevents them coming loose during fishing.
Now here’s the miracle bit! Take the squirrel hairs and just pull them into position with your fingers, arranging them so that they spread around on all sides of the post. It’s a dead easy no fuss operation.
Tie off and add a touch of head cement. Finally, trim the post and the fly is done!
The final product below. A brilliant dry fly!
The hot pink post version tied with a brown hackle
The fly seen from above
And the fly seen from below
Here's the 'footprint' profile of the pattern shot in a water tank
By way of interest I asked Mark to tie his version of the standard RAB. He has based it very much on my rendition of the RAB, using spent or semi-spent grizzly wings and long, trailing squirrel hair fibres.
I hope you find this pattern useful. I know all the anglers on the Cape streams will like it, but I suspect the small stream fanatics worldwide will enjoy fishing it!
People wanting to order flies custom tied by Mark Krige can contact him on 076 9840328 or 021 8553956.