2 comments on “THE ICONIC RAB

  1. Indeed, the RAB has long been my favourite dry fly – for some 30 years now – and by a very large margin. I have used it on still-water in SA, in what is now Mpumalanga, during the evening rises and it proved to be virtually guaranteed to fool the rainbows. I have used it on many of the freestone rivers in Southern Chile (Patagonia) to take both brown and rainbows, in The Yukon to take trophy Arctic grayling on numerous trips to the area and specifically the Kluane National Park water systems and surrounds. In British Columbia to take wild rainbows, in Japan to take native iwana and yamame in some stunning (and secret) spring creeks, and rainbows in the northern island of Hokkaido. As well as in New Zealand to take brown trout and rainbows (the largest brown measured over 60 cm).

    It was during that same New Zealand trip that I took the largest brown trout I have ever caught. It was on the Eglinton River (Southland) in late December. I had spotted some large browns holding near the surface in a slow-moving backwater on the right bank. There were tall trees right up against the river, so a regular cast was out of the question. I had to very carefully enter the edge of the water downstream and make a reverse cast to them while trying to avoid the tree branches. I think it was on the 4th cast that the largest of the trout rose to gently take the RAB. Nothing really happened for some moments after setting the hook. But when he realized something was wrong, he took off downstream with much determination and it was game on. I have long been against taking fish out of the water for long periods to get a photograph (I think even 20 seconds is too long), and that fish had taken me about 100 meters downstream, so I was able to unhook and release him without him ever leaving the water.

    In fairness, the RAB is the dry fly I tie on most of the time – so it does get a lot more “airtime” than my other dry fly patterns. But it very rarely lets me down.

    • Thank you for your comprehensive comments David. It just proves that the RAB is an exceptional fly that has way beyond local waters. I suspect that it’s appeal also won’t be restricted to Trout.
      I have fished it extensively in South African waters, but also in North America, England, Wales and Scotland with success, in instance even better than local recommended flies. Truly iconic.
      Thank you again.

      I still owe you a copy of Call of the Stream when the next opportunity arises.

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