Rambulance Steelhead Fly

 Rambulance Steelhead Fly in-stock, no sales tax - $50 orders ship free in USA.

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Black/Blue/Purple Hot, Hot Orange Shrimp-ish
"Flies That Boogie!"

It’s all just FUZZ on a hook”, I believe is how Mark Bachman responds to most flies…especially new un-tested varieties.  In today’s commercial fly world there is something to be said for a statement like that. Working for a commercial company myself, I am sure there a more than a handful of flies each season that make catalogs w/o having had the chance to get wet first! The difference in my world of FUZZ on a hook and a fly worth talking about is: I don’t like to even name a fly until it has taken fish. With that said, I have a hard time staying tuned into a certain fly, even of my own creation, until it produces consistently, on different waterways, in different times of the year for Steelhead or Trout. Past that, if it is aesthetically pleasing and easy to cast…now we’re onto something worth talking about!


Tying a fly to me basically means wrapping common sense, experience and trial & error around a hook (In this case a tube). Sometimes it is an involved process going through stages of development and some trial, other times it is simple…after all Steelhead eat pink rubber worms…right!


The Rambulance started shortly after (and I mean as the credits were rolling) watching an OPB program back in 2009. Long story short, Biologists and OPB crew members wanted to watch the spawning habits of Oncorhynchus Mykiss to see if that information would yield any clues to the protection and ongoing efforts to restore the numbers of our beloved Steelhead in the P.N.W. Being impossible to observe what happens in the wild with humans mucking about was impossible. The solution: specially designed waterproof cameras strategically placed around pre spawn and spawning habitat where the fish would act like fish w/o the interference of man.   


The video results were amazing, in particular a group of “Sneaker” fish, as OPB termed them, worked in teams to agitate and move Steelhead. The male Steelhead took the bait multiple times moving off his bed to chase off potential competition. The male obliterated one “Sneaker”, later on giving chase to another, while a third 3-3 ½” inch fish ducked under the adult female and took care of the job of inseminating the eggs. http://www.opb.org/programs/ofg/segments/view/1697


Wow, small immature looking trout are sexually mature? Steelhead hate these little bastards? Man…I bet if I can imitate “Sneakers” in basic size and shape, I can catch a lot of fish…off the spawning beds of course!!! O.K. shows over, I wish I would have recorded this one, now off to the tying room.


Meanwhile, like most other fisherman chasing Steelhead I was taken in by the Intruder from the first time I saw that fly in Dec Hogan’s “Passion for Steelhead” on the two page spread. I already had a box loaded with varying flies from 3” to about 7 “long. I found the rabbit infested flies (among other materials) hard to cast at best (almost impossible in tight casting lies).  In open water where you could make a full D-loop the soon to be doomed to the garbage can flies would lazily waffle their way out mid stream. I also felt like a lot of flies were in a constant struggle. What struggle is that you ask? The struggle was loads of Rio T14 trying to get a fly down, but the flies and the way they were tied were not having any part of going down.  Kind of like eating candy for a sugar high and drinking beer all at the same…just don’t work!


This fly was going to be different: Large 3 -3 ½” profile, colors that will represent these fish, easy to cast, a fly that will allow the tip to get it to desired fishing depth efficiently and tied on a tube. That way, if the hook becomes fouled or the gap opened up it would be quick and easy to replace the hook and keep the fly. Sounds easy, right!

 Continued below...

Rambulance, Black/Blue/Purple 
This is a deadly fly, which has a lot of movement and shows up in many differing water colors and conditions. Rambulance flies have an unusual mix of materials, which allows them to hold their shape in many different current speeds. Rarely are they to fat or too skinny. This mix of materials retains tremendous movement in all these same current speeds. Bruce calls it boogie. We call it, "Fish-on."
Item Description Size Price To Top
37-0640-TB Rambulance, Black/Blue/Purple Tube Fly
size-4 hook supplied
3 for $10.50

Rambulance, Hot, Hot Orange
The other morning the river was high and light pea green with snow melt; my favorite water condition. My buddy tied on his modified Egg Sucking Leech, he calls Arnold. Arnold has been a strong producer of winter steelhead all season. I assembled my rod as my Buddy worked his way downstream from the boat. I chose the Bruce Berry's Orange Rambulance Fly, waited until my buddy was 150-feet 
from the boat and slipped into the water. This fly is mostly hot orange, but has a strip of even hotter orange craft fur running up the center of the wing, the perfect color for a snow-melt river. The third cast brought the Hot, Hot Rambulance fly across the the river, side ways to the current.  There were three distinct tugs and then the line became real tight. Then the fly came free for no apparent reason. Two more steelhead came to the fly, and one finally made it to the net (pictured above, up-side-down in the net). My buddy asked, "What are you using?" "I'm using this Orange Rambulance Fly. It has great color, and boy does it boogie in the water. Look at this!" I dropped the fly in the water and it writhed and wiggled with life. "Here, do want one?" I handed him a zip-lock with half a dozen in it.
The next stop, my buddy scored a nickel bright wild buck that weighted about ten pounds (pictured above, right-side-up in the net). Later in the day he landed a brand new summer steelhead as well (pictures didn't turn out). The Hot, Hot Orange Rambulance Fly had made the day for us. Mark
Item Description Size Price To Top
37-0641-TB Rambulance, Hot, Hot Orange Tube Fly
size-4 hook supplied
3 for $10.50

Rambulance, Shrimp-ish 
This is the newest of the Rambulance colors and it has developed a solid reputation among local winter steelhead anglers. Shrimp-ish
Item Description Size Price To Top
37-1090-TB Rambulance, Shrimp-ish Tube Fly
size-4 hook supplied
3 for $10.50

Continued from above...

Actually, it was easy!  The first attempt just showed that the wing lengths needed a little tweak in order to keep it’s wiggle and boogie from the softest to the hardest currents you would encounter Steelhead with a fly. From there, I tied it with Iceland Sheep, Arctic Fox, Temple Dog, Finn Raccoon and Craft Fur. I settled on Craft Fur simply because the dyes were consistent and color fast. At the end of the day you could stuff the wet flies in a jacket pocket so the next time you use it there is not really any color transferred to the jacket. Also, the material would not take a set becoming bent up in all sorts of contorted angles while drying out and riding around in my jacket, hip pack or boat bag. The alternate materials that come in a close second tying my Rambulance are Finn Raccoon or Marble Fox.


Keys to success:

~The wings wiggle in all currents adding realism to the fly and keeps the fly tracking across the runs properly.

~The fly is forward weighted so it rides level in most all fishing situations.

~The overall fly size I believe is perfect for most water conditions to take fish consistently.

~Rambulance is easy to cast when paired with a Skagit line and sink tip, it does not feel like you have much more than a size #10 Adams on the end of your line. When developing these flies I figure if it cast’ nicely on a Scandinavian line taper then it will be awesome on a Skagit set up.

~Alternate color: Orange, really good for fish fresh into a system.



Pro Tubefly Systems had just become available in the U.S. market which made it even easier to develop the Rambulance. The weighting systems, tubes, metal and plastic cones all come in lots of sizes and great colors that allows simplicity in modern fly design. Kind of like Lego’s for big kids.


For those of you who like to tie your own:

~Pro Micro Tube…Fl. Orange/ Drop Weight…4 or 6mm/Pro Hook Guide Large

~Orange Steelhead Dubbing of choice

~Fl. Orange Dyed Pheasant Tippets

~Kingfisher Blue Craft Fur or Finn Racoon rear wing

~Small Silver Wire

~Pearl Medium Tinsel/Pearl Saltwater Flashabou

~Kingfisher Schlappen

~Tiny Orange Dubbing ball between Schlappen and Drop Weight

~Black Craft Fur or Finn Racoon front wing

~Holographic Silver Flashabou (two pieces down each lateral line)

~Purple Marabou 3-4 turns

~Holographic Black Flashabou (four pieces splayed over the top)

~Black Schlappen 3-4 turns and finish the fly

~6/0 Fl. Fire Orange Thread


Happy Fishing, Bruce Berry~

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