Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014 Fly Swap: Upshall's Rattle N' Tree Rat

Click HERE to visit the swap summary page.

Tier: Robert Upshall
State: Orangeville, ON (that's in Canada... dummies)

About:  "This pattern evolved from a pattern I found online a few years back called "Simple Crawfish". It was a crawfish pattern that had claws made of squirrel tail and a dubbed body. I fish it the same as I fish other crawfish patterns; on a fluro leader, on the bottom, mostly slow small erratic strips. Mix in an occasional longer strip now and then. The placement of the dumbbell eyes in conjunction with small strips cause the fly to pivot and the claws will rock upwards in a defensive position. I've caught many tailing fish with this fly and plenty of fish blind casting into deeper pools. It's also caught it's share of bass and a few pike. My home carp water is a crawfish infested gravel bottom river."

Notes: This is a MASSIVELY interesting pattern for a couple of reason. First, it is the first I've seen that intentionally incorporates a rattle. I believe that bead chain rattles and, for that reason, can be effective. This fly takes it a step further. Carp already use most of their senses (taste, smell, touch) against us and any fly that leverages a sense other than vision to give flyfishermen an edge is very interesting to me. The other thing that is interesting is that Upshall is Canadian and in true Canadian fashion was nice enough to use up his entire rattle supply to be sure that every participant received a fly. To that I say, pretty Canada nice, eh?  

  • Hook: Teimco 8089 #10
  • Thread: Uni 6/0 - Rust Brown
  • Rattle: Waspi 3mm Micro Rattle
  • Claws: Squirrel Tail - Natural Red Fox
  • Weight: 1/40oz Plain Lead Eyes
  • Body: Hare's Ear Plus Dubbin - Rusty Orange
  • Legs(wing): Marabou - Burnt Orange
  • Antennae: Sili Legs - Perfectly Barred Brown


  1. That is crawfish tie that I believe would work well fishing blind, which I do often. Very cool.

    1. Have you ever tried rattles Gregg? I have never really played with them.

  2. I always found them too large, now I must look into them again.


    1. Yeah me too, but that was ten years ago the last time I looked into it. Maybe they are smaller now?

  3. super sexy and simple. I really like the simple marabou wing for legs.

  4. This pattern tied a couple of sizes larger would destroy on the smallies I bet.


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