Red Tag

Tying instructions:, Mustad,
The Fly Tyers Bible, pp. 36-37

Throughout Australia the Red Tag is excellent fished to surface feeding trout in rivers or still water (it is also a must-have for herring!). The fly is a half imitator and half attractor; the red tag, the peacock herl and to some extent the brown hackle attracting the fish. Because the fly is beetle shaped it is also dynamite when trout are feeding around trees or other structures located in or near the water that beetles inhabit.


The Red Tag should be fished with plenty of floatant to ensure it stays on the surface or just in the surface film. It can be fished with an unweighted nymph tied with a very light line – 4lb – to the bend of the hook. These are most effective in moving water in the deeper parts of the river, using a floating line.


  • Hook: Size 14 to 18 dry fly
  • Thread: Brown or Black
  • Tag: Red wool
  • Body: 2 or 3 peacock herl strands
  • Hackle: Bright natural red hackle
Another fly I have had some success with is a Bead Head Red Tag. Replace the hackle with a bead head.