Published Sep 25. 2017 - 3 weeks ago
Updated or edited Sep 26. 2017

Rattlesnake Streamer

The Rattlesnake Streamer is a large, articulated fly originated by US tyer and guide Ray Schmidt.

Rattlesnake with eyes - A beautiful grey/white Rattlesnake streamer accented with eyes, a little pink and some barred rubber legs. Tied by Jeff Creamer.
Rattlesnake
Jeff Creamer

In 1985 I started guiding a stretch of water on the Manistee River in Northern Michigan known as Hodenpyl. This is a remote piece of water directly below Hodenpyl Dam.

This water was and is renowned for its exceptionally large brown trout. We were successful with these fish two ways. First, during the famous "Hex" hatch, we drummed these monsters up after dark with our big dry offerings.
The second method was not so easy. I met a fellow angler on the river as I floated. We hit it off and he shared with me his secret for his success. Looked like a half chicken and deer tied to a 6X long hook size 2 hook. We nicknamed our copy "The Youngblood Special" after this man, Ed Youngblood.

I always take things to the extreme

I always take things to the extreme, so I increased the fly size and hook length to a Partridge CS 10 size 2. 10X long!

The fly brought fish, no question, but it lacked the ability to hook and keep them thru the fight. After much frustration and observation I discovered that the fish were grabbing the fly by the head and when they were tired of the fight they simply opened their mouth and let go.
The light bulb blinked on. A short shank hook up front and a stinger trailer.

Olive Rattlesnake - An olive Rattlesnake streamer tied by the originator
Variations - A number of Rattlesnake color variations from the vise of Ray Schmidt
Ray Schmidt's Rattlesnakes
Ray Schmidt

I love the Muddler style fly, and since there are tons of Sculpins in this river, I was headed down the right track. I separated the front hook and the back hook with brass beads and proceeded to tie a Rabbit Strip Muddler. The fly reminded me of a Rattlesnake for two reasons, first the beads looked like a Rattlesnake tail and second while tying the fly the trailer hook would frequently bite me.
Hmmmm... looks like a Rattlesnake and bites like a Rattlesnake...

The Rattlesnake was born!

Rattlesnake Streamer
Pattern type: 
Streamer
Originator: 
Ray Schmidt
Materials: 
Hooks
Dai-Riki #135 size 10 (Stinger), short shank nymph hook size 4 (Body)
Thread
3/0 pre-waxed white Monocord
Connector
Coated, braided wire (Nylostrand) or 20lb. Maxima snelled on the stinger and lashed through the eye of the body hook
Eyes
Black bead chain eyes
Body
1/8” (3mm) diameter brass or nickel beads
Wing
Rabbit Zonker Strip (color of your choice). Red Krystal Flash and three pieces of silver/gold holographic Fly Fiber
Head
Deer body hair (muddler spun)
Difficulty: 
Medium
Instruction: 


See a tying video for the Rattlesnake here

Contact

Ray works as a tyer, guide, consultant and much more at Double SS Outdoors where he can be contacted for inquiries on trip planning, guiding, photography and much more.


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