A search of the blogosphere and various fly tying books indicates that this fly, the Brad’s Brat, was a creation of Mr. Enos Bradner and fished extensively on the Stillaguamish River in Washington in 1937. I bet those old boys could teach us a thing or two or twenty over a cup of coffee these days.

The original Brad’s Brat steelhead fly pattern used orange and white for both tail and wing, typically orange over white. The body was orange in the rear and red for the fore-body, and wool was the material of choice. Hackle was typically brown saddle or neck hackle tied as a beard of sorts. Wing materials varied, and in those days the fancy flies could sport Polar Bear, but most of these flies were probably tied with bucktail. Over the years, Polar bear became less and less available, and reserved for special occasions, and thus was viewed as a magical and superior winging material, while in fact (in my opinion at least) the translucent bear was no more or less effective than the plain old Bucktail as far as the steelhead catching properties.

Now-a-days, Bucktail is still effective, calf or kip tail is good too, but it is difficult to find kip tails with long hair, but we now have Arctic Fox Tail materials for winging, and this is a great material in terms of ease of use, durability, and fish catching qualities.

This Winter Steelhead Tie version of the Brad’s Brat uses a largish gold hook and a solid profile to enhance its visibility in the dark cold flows of winter.

Fish this fly with confidence; it remains a winner after all these years.

Jay Nicholas
February 2012

Via our friends at The Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene Oregon.