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Spring Fly Showdown: Chernobyl Ant vs. the RS2

This matchup in the Spring Fly Showdown pits one of the best big-fly attractors against maybe the best emerger pattern ever tied for picky trout.

Tying the Chernobyl.

Honestly, this fly pattern might be the only good thing to come out of the disastrous nuclear meltdown in the former Soviet Union in 1986 (too soon?). 

Buy the Chernobyl Ant here from Orvis.

Tied with layers of foam and rubber legs, the Chernobyl has become a staple, both as an indicator and as an attractor pattern during terrestrial season. There’s nothing quite like watching a big trout come up after fat Chernobyl—it’s fly fishing nirvana.

Named for its mutated appearance, the Chernobyl Ant is the farthest thing from an ant. But it’s profile on the water is likely what gets fish’s attention.

Tying the RS2.

The RS2 might be the best pattern to fish during a Blue-winged Olive hatch. It’s earned the rave reviews it gets because this emerger pattern really works.

Buy the RS2 from Orvis here.

First tied by Colorado’s Rim Chung (the RS2 stands for “Rim’s Semblance 2), it’s become a favorite for anglers casting over finicky trout that will seemingly hit naturals over other imitations at every turn. 

The RS2’s secret sauce? It’s a great imitation of a troubled emerger, meaning trout will target it because it’s not likely to make its escape anytime soon. Don’t believe me? Tie on a size 20 RS2 during the BWO hatch. You’ll become a believer in short order.