Fly of the Month: The Renegade

The Renegade is an attractor or searching pattern, similar to the Bivisible. The Renegade fishes well on top of streams and in fast and slow water. It also can be really hot on a place such as the Buchanan Ponds.

It is thought that it represents a variety of insects or small terrestrials: things such as midge clusters, beetles, crickets or flying ants. It could imitate cripple or dead insects as well.

The Renegade is a fly pattern developed by John Hagen – a fly fisherman, guide and fly tier who lives in Colorado. You can read a nice biography of John in Marty Bartholomew’s book: “Tying Flies Like a Pro”. Though the Renegade is usually fished on the surface, it has been known to catch fish when weighted and drifted as well. Enough history, let’s tie the pattern!


Hook: Dry fly standard - TMC 100 sizes 10-18
Thread: Black Danville's 70 Denier 6/0 or similar
Aft Hackle: Brown (size dependent on hook)
Fore Hackle: White (size dependent on hook)
Body: Peacock Herl

Tying Instructions:

Step 1: Tie the thread in at the 3/5 point and wrap back to just before the bend. Then tie in a brown hackle.

Step 2: Move the thread forward far enough for 4 or 5 wraps of the hackle. Wrap the hackle forward and tie off.

Step 3: Tie in 2 or 3 strands of peacock herl. Wrap the thread forward toward the eye. Be sure to leave enough room behind the eye for the white hackle and a head.

Step 4: Wrap the peacock herl forward, creating a thick body. Tie off.

Step 5: Tie in the white hackle. Wrap the thread forward to the eye and back leaving enough room for a head. Then wrap the hackle 2 or 3 times and tie off. Trim the hackle and form a head with the thread. Whip finish and cement.

Photos and article by Jim Wilborn