Published Apr 28. 2022 - 11 months ago
Updated or edited Jul 12. 2022


The RS2 is a fly that is so simple yet works so well. Its one of those flies that is in a league of its own and there really isn't much that can replace it for given situations. For instance, I used to fish the San Juan River a lot. Small midges were on the menu for the trout there. And when I say small, I really mean small. We are talking size 24-30, even smaller in some cases. There is only a hand full of flies that can be tied down past a size 24, and the RS2 is one of them. It in itself has caught me a number of really nice trout on that river.

While it is a rather simple fly, it is not what I would call easy. It can take some getting used to, especially splitting the tail. And to get the shape just right, you really have to have control over that dubbing noodle. It will not come out looking right if the body is all lumpy, and keeping a very even (non tapered) body with a small bump as a head is imperative. Also the position and length of the wing is important as well. So, tie some up, but dont get discouraged if the first few aren't what your expecting. After you get the hang of tying these though, you can do so quickly. You can a box with these in a matter of an hour or so.

I used to fish these a couple of ways. One of my favorites was behind a larger dry fly like a Griffiths gnat or parachute Adams. Use the dry fly as an indicator as the RS2 doesn't really sit directly on top. It rides in the water just below the film like a dying or emerging midge or trico. Another way I would fish these is by itself under an indicator, or even behind a larger/heavier fly to get it down a bit. The versatility of being able to fish multiple columns of water really make this fly shine in my opinion.

There are a few variations of this fly as well. Of course you can tie it in multiple colors. Olive body with gray wing is common to mimic a BWO, but also you could tie it no tail and all black with white wing as well for a midge imitation, more color combos are useful as well so get creative. Not only that, but you can switch out the CDC for a small bit of foam to make a foam RS2. Tie them smaller or larger, whatever will match your local hatch. Have fun with it and see what you can create to better fish your local streams.

As you all know, I work closely with both and Both of these shops have offered every one of my subscribers a discount. So go to their shops, and type in "McFly" at checkout for 15% off of anything you buy on their sites. The hooks risen sells are just as strong, if not more strong than the ones I used today in the video. But priced much more reasonably. So definitely check them out.

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Hook: Risen Barbless Dry Fly 100 (size 18) -
Thread: Veevus 16/0 (black) -
Tail: Fibetts -
Body: UV2 Fine and Dry (black) -
Wing: CDC Oiler Puff (white) -
Head Cement: Loon Water Based -

Vise: Renzetti Traveler -
Bobbin: Stonfo Bobtec -
Scissors: Risen Spring Assist -
Whip finisher: Dr. Slick brass -
Fly Tying Bench: Oasis Walnut Compact Bench -

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