Red Ibis
By: Tom Deschaine, Westland, MI

Previous Flies
Fly Tying Terms

The Red Iris is probably a relative of what was originally called the 'Scarlet Ibis' from England, developed early in the 1800's. I'm also sure that feathers from the Ibis bird were first used in the original pattern. The original was a streamer. It the early 1900's there was an entire series of 'Ibis' patterns, most of which have been lost to antiquity.

This particular pattern has evolved into a dry fly which is very popular in the New England States and in several Providences of Canada. I was first introduced to this pattern while fishing in Maine a few years ago. It is used as a brook trout attractor pattern. But I've talked with people who have caught bass, salmon and pan fish with this pattern.

I brought the pattern back with me to Michigan and have had a great deal of success with not only with brook trout, but also with rainbows. It's worth trying I hope you enjoy the pattern.

Materials for Red Ibis:

    Hook: Mustad #94840 or#94833 Size: 10-16.

    Thread: Red, 6/0.

    Tail: Red Hackle Fibers.

    Wing: Red Duck Quill, tied upright and divided.

    Body: Red Floss.

    Rib: Gold Tinsel.

    Hackle: Red Hackle Fibers.

Method for Red Ibis:

    Step #1: Tie in a good bed of thread. This is important otherwise the floss body will slip and slide on the hook.

    Step #2: Tie in the tail and then advance the thread forward.

    Step #3: Tie in the red duck quill wings.

    Step #4: Run your thread back to the tail and tie in the red floss. Then run your thread forward, then wrap the floss, tying off at the base of the wings.

    Step #5: Run your thread back again, tie in the gold tinsel.

    Step #6: Run your thread forward, wrap your gold tinsel and tie off.

    Step #7: Tie in your hackle, add head cement, lacquer the body.

You have many options here when you're tying. Some patterns are tied with black thread and some patterns are tied with silver tinsel. Your technique when tying will depend on your level of expertise. Some tiers prefer to tie in the floss and the gold tinsel at the same time, advancing them both forward and then tying them off. That will save you backing the thread all the time. Some tiers also prefer to reverse tie the gold tinsel. When I tie this pattern I like to 'Flexament' the wings before tying them in. Be sure to lacquer the body.

Enjoy --- see you on the water. ~ Tom Deschaine

About Tom:

I'm a retired high school science teacher, living in Westland, Michigan. I've been a hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman my entire life. But, it wasn't until 1984, that a friend of mine introduced me to the sport of fly fishing. I got the 'bug' real bad and within a year or two I had added fly tying and rod building to my list of sportsman's skills.

Although I have fished most of the great rivers in this country, my all time favorite is still, my home river, the Au Sable, here in Michigan.

My retirement is now providing me with the time I need to write a little and share with you some of the tips, tricks, patterns and experiences I've had over the years. Stay tuned.

See you on the water… ~ Tom Deschaine

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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