Jmac’s Renegade: A New Spin On A Classic Fly

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Renegade Fly Pattern - by Bob Streb

There are a few patterns out there that have with stood the test of time because they just work. They are perfect and need no manipulation from today’s synthetics to be “better”. HaresEar, Pheasant Tails, Adams and the Griffith’s Gnat to name a select few have many versions, some using new age synthetics, but they all end up with the same profile and key material the original pattern high lighted. One of our favorite traditional flies around Colorado Angling Company is the Renegade. 


The Renegade was first tied and fished by one Taylor “Beartracks” Williams in 1930’s Idaho. While it has many variations like the Double Renegade, Royal or the Reverse Renegade; the original, Ernest Hemingways favorite, remains a simple masterpiece that fools rising fish every summer here in Colorado. While we mostly fish Renegades dry it is just as deadly when it sinks or when you add small strips to a wet fly retrieve. 


The Renegade pays most of it’s bills during the late summer- winter seasons and we usually fish it as the small dropper in a 2 fly dry fly rig to mimic Tricos, Midges and small Caddis. Traditionally this pattern was fished quite large 10-14 and we still use these in spring on stillwaters and when the drakes start hatching but it just deadly as a small cluster/cripple/emerger type doo hickie.

Take a trip to a well stocked fly shop and dig around some of the traditional materials like Peacock. If you have been surviving on a package of strung junk, treat yourself to a package of Peacock Swords and by all means look for a cool dye job. I love the red from Hareline as well as the black which comes across purple. Let me know when someone finds yellow please. 

Jmac’s Red Renegade started with one of those conversations that started with “I wish they made a fly…….” 


Joey just figured a shuck, like the one hanging off another of his favorites, The Palm’s Special Emerger, might just make for a cool variation. I took the liberty to jam the red herl on it. Not sure if it fishes but it is a Renegade.


Have fun out there as well as at the vise this winter.