The RS2 and its Many Variations

RIM CHUNG CREATED THE PATTERN WE CALL THE RS2 IN THE 1970s, and since then this fly has developed an extremely loyal following. I believe the main reason for its popularity is that regardless of conditions, place, or time of year, it almost always catches fish.

I was fortunate to meet Rim Chung at the 2019 Fly Fishing Show in Denver. The circumstances that led to our meeting, however, are a bit embarrassing. I was the first featured demonstration tier of the show; this is where I would tie flies “live” in front of an audience of about 40 or 50 people. Every move you make is projected onto a large-screen television for all to see while you wear one of those weird little microphone headsets so the folks can hear what you’re saying over the din of the show. Unfortunately, that morning there was something wrong with the audio system and I was informed I was not only broadcasting to the people in front of me but to the entire exhibition center. I was told to turn off the microphone. Not good!

I’ll admit it: I was rattled. With no audio backup, I yelled to my audience for the remainder of the presentation. The last fly I tied was the RS2, and I thought it would be a piece of cake; I can practically tie the pattern in my sleep. On this particular day, however, I blew it. I used way too much dubbing for the body and produced perhaps the worst RS2 in history. It wasn’t just bad, it was really bad, and I breathed a sigh of relief at the end of the presentation.

As I was putting away my materials, I glanced up to see a vaguely familiar man approaching me. It was Rim Chung! Without a rock to crawl under, I introduced myself and apologized for the hideous tie. Luckily for me, he was extremely gracious and we chatted about the RS2 and some of its variations.

A Fly Worth Tying and Fishing

When I returned home, there was a package waiting for me from Mr. Chung containing a very nice note and small box of nine RS2s in different sizes and colors; the smallest looks like a size 28 or 30. All are immaculately tied, and I treasure them.

There are a couple videos of Rim Chung tying the RS2 online that are definitely worth watching. I’ve always had trouble producing the nicely segmented abdomen similar to Mr. Chung’s, so I’ve developed my own technique for creating this part of the fly. I also tie on the Microfibbet tails a little differently, but for the most part I stay fairly true to his original pattern.

The RS2 is a very adaptable fly. You can create incredible variations by switching materials for the tail, body, and wing. If you haven’t tied or fished the RS2, you’re missing out.

Tim Flagler produces must-see fly tying and fishing instructional videos. To enjoy his terrific videos, go to www.practicalpatterns.com. Tim lives in New Jersey.