The Red Tag Jig has been a firm favourite amongst river anglers, both competitive and pleasure, right across Europe and the UK. This pattern is a variation of Martyn Flynn’s ‘red tag’ dry fly which was meant for grayling. Still a very successful fly in it’s dry fly form, the Red Tag has been adapted and varied to create a killer all-round fly pattern. Here’s Kieron Jenkins’ favourite variation.
Take a Fulling Mill Barbless Force Jig Hook and attach a suitable sized bead, here I have used a 3.5mm slotted tungsten bead. Attach the thread – here I have used UTC Thread in black – just behind the bead and build a layer of thread to secure it in place.
Take the thread down to the end of the hook shank and stop just where it bends round. Double up a few strands of Glo-Bright No5 floss and tie in as the tail. Cut, but leave generous amount of floss as the tag, grayling and trout love colour! The length can be varied depending on the attitude of the fish. It’s always good to have some long and some short depending on the pressure the fish get.
Take a large CDC feather and tie in half way along the stalk, with the thick end in hand. Secure in with a few wraps of thread and then pull the feather back so that the tips are tied in. This should give you a generous length of feather to use as the body. Simply latch the hackle pliers onto the end of the CDC feather and wrap in touching turns up the body. The CDC produces a lovely tapered effect as the stalk gets thicker towards the head, and also a very buggy looking profile as the CDC feathers act as legs.
Tie the feather off and cut the spare stalk away. I like to leave the CDC messy at this stage and run some dubbing through the ‘hackle’ at the head. Dub some glister onto your thread and wind between the CDC and pull any stray fibres back over the fly and tie off the thread. Et-Viola.
Red Tag Jig Tying Materials
Hook: Fulling Mill Force Jig Hook Size 12
Bead: Slotted 3.5mm Gold Tungsten Bead
Thread: Black UTC 70 Denier
Tail: Glo Bright No 5
Body: CDC (wound)
Thorax: Hendz Glister No45
Written by Kieron Jenkins