At the Bench: the Renegade

In some back and forth in the comments from the last post, I realized I forgot to write about a new dry fly in the box: the Renegade.

I’m a big fan of attractor patterns, and I like Catskill-style dries for choppy water. For a recent fishing trip I decided to make just one Renegade and test it out. I recently saw a video on it and decided to give it a go.

Up in Pittsburg, NH, I got a lot of looks and a few takes on the fly while targeting a shallow and slow-ish stretch of water. The fly is easy to see, and I think it, well, looks unusual to the fish.

I was fishing a size 16, and I think a size 20 would have been better, as the trout were pretty jaded. Water flows have been very wade-friendly up there, and there are many anglers hitting the same pools and runs.

There’s a great deal of Caddis up there, and I think something like the Renegade can be effective when the fish are looking up. A size 20 X-Caddis did a lot better for me, but it was fun to switch it up and try a new pattern.

And, with the water so clear and shallow, it was a hoot to see the fish rise up, inspect the fly and (on occasion) take it. A dry-fly laboratory, where I could play around with different flies and drifts.

The best approach? Drifting a fly downstream. Whether it was because the fly was pointed upriver or that the fish didn’t see the leader, I don’t know, but that was the best approach by far.

Here’s a how-to video on the Renegade:

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