One of South Africa’s most iconic fly patterns, the “RAB” or “Red-Arsed Bastard” is a staple in dry fly boxes from the Western Cape to Kwazulu Natal and everywhere in between. And as it falls somewhere between a mayfly, a drunken spider, a crane fly, various other bugs and the general attractor tab, it’s one of those flies that performs very well anywhere in the world where trout are hungry and keen on dry flies.
Thanks to an initiative by Cape Piscatorial Society president Ed Herbst, articles from the Piscator journal are being digitally uploaded into a valuable online archive. One of the first sections you can dig into is dedicated to the RAB and all its variants (including the deadly Para-RAB). With contributions from the originator Tony Biggs himself as well as other recognised gurus like Tom Sutcliffe, Dean Riphagen of Frontier Fly Fishing, Leonard Flemming of Feathers & Fluoro and Stephen Dugmore, you can be sure it is comprehensive. Examples above provided by SJ Roberts of Fly Tying South Africa.