Fly Tying Corner
Sunday - January 8, 2017
This month’s pattern is a Royal Trude. It is a fly that resembles nothing specific in nature, but is an excellent imitation for many things. The idea for this month’s pattern was born on a hike last year near the Lava Lands Visitor Center, part of the Newberry National Monument and very near our home in Sunriver, Oregon. I was walking along one of the paths and noticed movement on the bark of a large ponderosa pine tree. As I looked closer I observed a very large beetle that was probably 2 ˝-3 inches long. Now most beetle patterns I have tied and fished in my life are typically a size 14-18 hook and at most ˝ inch long. It dawned on me; we have some very big terrestrials hanging out in our forest and if one of these landed on the water, an opportunistic trout would dash to the surface to take in a meal of this size. Wouldn’t it make sense to start throwing large beetle imitations?
The origination of the Royal Trude pattern dates back to the early 1900’s when a gentleman from Chicago was visiting the Trude Ranch near Big Springs, Idaho. The fly was tied as a joke and spinoff of the famous Royal Coachman dry fly. However, the joke worked on fussy trout and since then has been used on many waters throughout the world. It is not tied to be specific imitation for anything in nature, but imitates many things, including large beetles. Having been around for over 100 years, this pattern has clearly stood has stood the test of time!
We gave this pattern a test drive on East Lake last July. A friend and I were casting large hoppers and Madam X’s against the bank and having a very good day. It was midsummer; prime time for terrestrials. After breaking off a nice fish and needing to tie on a new fly, he asked if a Royal Trude would work. I replied, thinking back to the large beetle I had observed at Lava Lands, “I have no idea, but let’s give it a try!” Bingo! In one of his first few casts he tied into a nice 18” rainbow. I made a mental note that I needed to stock a few of this pattern in my box. Now that it is wintertime-box-filling season, I got busy and tied a few of these for the upcoming season.
Royal Trude Materials List:
- Hook: Tiemco 5212 Size 8-14, or similar (2X long, 1X fine)
- Thread: 70 Denier Black Thread
- Tail: Natural Golden Pheasant Tippet
- Body: Peacock Tail Feather and Red Floss
- Wing: White Calf Tail
- Hackle: Brown Whiting Rooster Saddle
Learn to tie this artful fly pattern and fish it in any area that features beetles and other terrestrials. If you have questions or would like additional information about the Royal Trude pattern, please don’t hesitate to email me. Or if you have suggestions on future patterns to feature in this column, I welcome your input. I can be reached at Philfischer@sbcglobal.net.