The Orange Ruthless has long been one of my favorite striper flies. It’s a simple pattern, and a good place to start if you’re just getting into flatwings. I like this fly about 2 1/2″ long, but I’ll tie it even smaller if the bait size warrants. The Orange Ruthless gets a lot of swim time as part of a three-fly team; I tend to place it in the point position. Although it’s a clam or cinder worm, it does double duty as a grass shrimp (or at the very least something that looks alive and good to eat.)
The SC15 hook does not sharpen well, but it is sticky sharp out of the pack and holds its point for a long time. I chose it because it’s easy to find and very light. You can get away with strung hackle for both the tail and the body, but make sure the feathers have plenty of web.
If you have Ken Abrames’ A Perfect Fish, you’ll find a fly called the “R.L.S. Ruthless” in the chapter on single-feather flatwings. This is a variant of that pattern, taught to me by Ken himself at a Tuesday night tying session many years ago. It was the first striper fly I ever tied, and I had the good fortune to be seated next to the artist, lashing bucktail, flash, and feather to hook under his watchful eye.
Steve, I’ve seen you post of this fly before, here, or perhaps in SOL when I used to visit there… I’m curious… Have you tried this fly beyond the NE? It never struck me until just now, but man… I have a feeling that I could catch a mess of fish on that fly in Florida…
I have not. But you should. And send pics. 🙂
Filed away Steve. Probably wont be back down there till next spring, but will report back. It’s to shrimp/worm/small bait fishy to not work 🙂
Thanks so much! Very helpful and much anticipated:)
[…] fished two marks. The first was a skinny water flat where I used a three fly team (Orange Ruthless, small PB bucktail, Morning Glory) and wet fly tactics. The flat was loaded with silversides, and […]
[…] years, I’ve been using the Gamakatsu SC15 on smaller patterns like baitfish and clam worms. No issues until a couple weeks ago on Block. I was dead-drifting a team of three, when bang! It […]
[…] swarm with a team of three. The patterns vary, and sometimes I’ll throw a clam worm like the Orange Ruthless into the mix, but last week I fished a deer-hair head on top dropper, a black General Practitioner […]
[…] near-slot bass taken this summer on an Orange Ruthless, part of a three-fly team. The strike came just as the presentation transitioned from swing to […]