Fly tying guru Gordon van Der Spuy, aka The Feather Mechanic, walks us through a detailed yet rewarding tutorial of the Para-RAB. This long hackle dry fly is a modern adaptation of the traditional RAB (Red Arsed Bastard). It has a big search image, and is ideal for high water, turbulent flow river scenarios. It’s the only fly in the world that makes use of squirrel tail as a halo hackle. While the stiff dry fly hackle provides stability, the squirrel fibres provide movement – paramount to the Para-RAB’s success.

This mayfly imitation was birthed on the Cape Streams of South Africa, and is a deadly fly during early season. The pattern can be tied much sparser for late season, low water fishing. “This thing klaps fish!”, says Gordon.

These are the materials used to tie the Para-RAB: 

Hook: Gamakatsu S10/F11 size 14

Thread: Griffiths sheer 14/0, RED

Body: Wild turkey biots – Gordon uses those from Magpie Materials.

Tail: Coq de Leon barbs

Post: White polypropylene yarn.

Hackle: Squirrel tail and standard genetic dry fly hackle.

Dubbing: Ice dub peacock black

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