The rusty squirrel was designed to fish in the surf zone but has been a producer fly in the Baja region. The rusty squirrel is tied with Fox Squirrel tail (thus the name) and is a Clouser style fly, designed to ride with the point up. The rusty squirrel imitates a shrimp or crab.
Hook: Dai Ichi 2546 1, 2, 4
Thread: Red Nymo Thread or equivilant
Body: Gold Diamond Braid
Tail: Fox Squirrel Tail
Wing: Fox Squirrel Tail
Top Wing: Fox Squirrel Tail
Flash: Krystal Flash (Rainbow)
Eyes: Real Eyes by Spirit River 7/32-#1, 3/16-#2,4
Prizmatic Tape Eyes Size to fit real eyes
1. Place hook in vise and attach the real eyes approximately ¼” from the eye of the hook. Use a cris-cross motion to keep eyes straight on the hook shank. When tied in, I use one drop of CA glue or a drop of SoftBody to the thread wrappings.
2. With the thread behind the eyes of the fly, tie in the rust color squirrel tail. The thread wrappings should go to the bend of the hook. Make sure there are enough thread wrappings to secure the material. Add a drop of CA glue to the thread wrappings. Now tie in the strand of gold diamond braid up to the bend of the hook. Advance the thread forward to behind the eyes of the fly. Wrap the diamond braid forward and tie off behind the eyes of the fly.
3. Advance thread forward. Now tie in a bunch of squirrel tail material in front of the eyes. DO NOT CUT the squirrel tail prior to tying in. Take the material and lay it across the shank at an angle and wrap a couple of loose turns of thread around the material. Once you have the material secured to the shank, it should of rolled to the center of the hook. Add a few more turns of thread to the front portion. DON’T over wrap. Now swing the thread to behind the eyes of the fly and secure down the squirrel tail material right behind the eyes.
4. At this point, cut the material that should be sticking out front of the fly. Cut the material from front to rear. This will give you the right angle for a nice tapered head when finishing off the fly. (If you cut the material straight across, you will have a large bump in which you will have to try and fill the gap.)
5. Now turn the fly over, or if using a rotating vise, rotate the vise jaws. Tie in the topwing, leaving the butt ends of the materials extending forward. Secure with a number of thread wraps. Trim off the extended material at an angle. Now tie in a few strands of Krystal Flash on each side of the head.
6. Finish off the head, keeping the thread wraps even and smooth. DO NOT OVERWRAP. If using Nymo thread, you can spin the thread counterclockwise to flatten out the nylon thread for the smooth finish.
7. Coat the thread wrappings with Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails.
8. Add prizmatic tape eyes and coat with a thin coat of expoxy or Soft Body.