blue rat salmon fly

In the very first issue of Fly Tyer, famed angler Poul Jorgensen noted that the art of dressing salmon flies was greatly underrepresented in the fly tying literature. That trend is even more pronounced today. While the popular fly fishing and tying literature focuses on trout, saltwater, and mostly simpler patterns for catching Pacific salmon and steelhead, a core group of artisans tie classic mixed-wing and hair-wing salmon flies for fishing and for display. These beautiful flies are excellent fish producers, and they make wonderful exhibition pieces. And, if you occasionally tie these marvelous patterns, you will develop more advanced skills, and all your flies will improve.

Although Poul Jorgensen tied a wide variety of patterns, he is probably best known for his salmon flies. Jorgensen wrote many magazine articles about these patterns, as well as a book many tiers continue to view as a bible on this fascinating topic.

Poul Jorgensen made the Blue Rat for the Spring 1978 issue of this magazine.

Hook: Partridge M2 or a similar salmon hook, sizes 10 to 1/0.
Thread: Red 8/0 (70 denier).
Tag: Fine oval gold tinsel.
Tail: Four short peacock swords.
Body: Kingfisher-blue floss and peacock herl.
Rib: Oval gold tinsel.
Veil: Blue floss over the rear half of the body.
Wing: Gray fox with the underfur removed.
Cheeks: Jungle cock over kingfisher blue floss.
Hackle: Grizzly hackle fibers one-third the length of the wing tied on top, and a similar bunch tied as a beard.