Tying and Fishing the RS2 Sparkle Wing and Smokejumper Fishing Flies

Two Flies, three ways to split tails, and multiple body options

by Chris NAugust 21, 2023 in Fly Tying Videos

There are some really good dry fly fisherman around here that come out during the Trico hatch. It is fun to watch them work their magic. While we don’t ever expect to be at their level, there are a few patterns and techniques that have helped us during this prolific hatch. While a black RS2 Sparkle Wing and a black Smokejumper are two of our favorites, changing flies often during this hatch should be expected. The sheer number of bugs is daunting, making iteration a key to success. Prior to the spinners, we’ve found that fishing multiple stages of the insect can also be very helpful. The RS2 Sparkle Wing can be fished deep as well as in the surface film. The Smokejumper can also be fished this way. Both fish well as a trailer behind a larger Trico adult or Parachute Adams.

Tying the RS2 Sparkle Wing Fishing Fly with Tails Split 3 Ways

We’ve included three different methods for splitting tails. There is, however, no one way to do this; find the way that works best for you. Here is a summary of the three methods:

  1. Tag End: Rather than snipping the tag end after starting the thread on the hook shank, leave a tag end of several inches and then tie in the tails.  Use your thumbnail to push up and split the tails.  Then pull the tag end of thread up through the tails.  The tension applied, as well as the angle in which the tag end is pulled through the tail, will help adjust the tails.  When you find the best placement of the tag end, tie it down and trim.  
  2. Split: Wrap a thread base and tie in the tails.  Again, use your thumbnail to push up and split the tails. Take one thread wrap under the tails. On the second wrap come under the first tail, but up through the tails.  Again, the tension applied will help adjust the tails.  This simple method is often enough the create a decent set of split tails.
  3. Figure 8:  Adding an additional step to method 2 above creates the most consistent and repeatable result in our experience.  After you've come up through the tails, continue a wrap around the hook shank.  As you pull the next wrap over the shank, split the tails again.  Rather than spitting the tail from bottom to top and back to front, this time the split goes from top to bottom and front to back.  Finish this wrap by guiding the thread between the far tail fiber and hook.  Finish this wrap by coming under the hook shank and back over.  You can see this in slow motion at 1:20 of the video below.

Below is the RS2 Sparkle wing recipe that we like.

Tying the Smokejumper Fishing Fly

Here's the Smokejumper recipe that we like. We show the body two ways, although we really like the quill body version:

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