Years ago we never missed a fall hunt to the East Kootenays. Elk were our prime target and although there is hardly any location in the Kootenays that we have not traveled, a favourite place was past Whiteswan Lake, then on to Munroe Lake at the top end of the Bull River. That was in the days before the logging road along the Bull cut through from the south, consequently, with a bit of hiking, many elk could be found. Usually time did not permit spare hours for fishing but I always carried a fly rod and a Taymour dinghy along with my hunting gear. I did find it hard to drive past Whiteswan without stopping to fish as there were some monster trout in that lake!
One magnificent fall day, larch trees in blazing yellow colour, we decided to camp overnight at Whiteswan Lake so that was my opportunity. I tied on a renegade fly and oared my dinghy to the northeast end of the lake. Sure enough, a large rainbow hit my fly and proved unstoppable, taking out line at will before breaking off the fly! I am sure this pattern will still do some East Kootenay magic so let us look at the fly details for this last month of 2019.
Start by pinching the hook barb and slide a medium sized gold brass bead to the hook eye. Next make a butt or full rear hackle at the hook bend with very short brown cape feather. From here, tightly wrap peacock herl through to near the gold bead. At the bead, wind another butt or front hackle the same as in the rear, tight against the gold bead. Tie off, cement and you have completed a good big trout wet fly! With colours as indicated, this fly could represent a dragonfly nymph but the Renegade can also be tied as an attractor fly by putting different hackle colours in use!
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