Charles R. Meck, a lifelong Pennsylvania resident and the author of several successful books on fly-fishing, has fished virtually every trout stream in the state of Pennsylvania. He has also fished throughout the Mid-Atlantic States, Arizona and New Mexico. He is well known for his amazing Patriot fly pattern. Charles created the fly back in 1985 and tested it heavily. I have heard many fly fishermen say it is one of their go-to patterns.
Here is an excellent excerpt from Charles about the creation of the fly.
“I tied my first Patriot dry fly more than 20 years ago. When I first tied the pattern I called it the RB Coachman. The RB stood for “really blue” and the body was first tied with barbules from a blue marabou feather. Shortly after Krystal flash came on the market I substituted that product in smolt blue for the body. When I first showed the pattern to Art Gusbar he looked at it and said we should call it the Patriot because it has red, white and blue in the pattern. I handed Art one of the patterns and urged him to try it. Art tied on the pattern immediately and began casting it on one of Pennsylvania’s top tailwaters, the Youghiogheny River, just below the town of Confluence in southwestern Pennsylvania. On the second cast Art hooked onto an 18-inch rainbow on the Patriot.”
There is an excellent article on Charles’ website that explains how he fishes the Patriot and some tips on tying it. There is a video provided by Rise Form Studio of Charles himself tying the Patriot. Be patient when hitting play on this video. For some reason it takes a long time to start playing, but it eventually does and it is worth the wait to hear how Charles recommends tying his fly.
Hook: size 12 to 18, Mustad 94833
Thread: Bright orange red fluorescent 6/0
Tail: Brown hackle fibers
Body: Five strands of smolt blue Krystal Flash with a midrib of the tying thread in the middle of the shank Wings: White calf hair, divided
NOTE: It is important to note the Patriot should be tied with Smolt Blue Krystal Flash. Smolt Blue is a light,
almost translucent blue that possesses a reflective iridescence, almost
purplish when wound over the red thread.
So if you’re looking for a good attractor pattern, this one’s for you. Tie some up and give it a try next season, I know I will!
Photo by Project Healing Waters