Al Miller fished the "Little Lehigh” with his friend Dick Miller every fishable day for about 35 years until Dicks' death. During this time Al’s Rat evolved.
Al usually "sight fished" the "Rat" casting it to visible fish. He imitated a pupa trying to penetrate the surface film by dressing his 8x tippet to about ten inches from the fly, fishing it with a twitch. When fishing the bottom he dispensed with the floatant.
I fish it blind, across and downstream, sometimes with a small split shot
Dr. Ernest Schwiebert told me the most important thing about the presence of midge adults is there are pupa in the film. I believe the fish take the Rat for a midge pupa
Midge pupa, photo by Jim Schollmeyer
Al’s Rat is an imitative pattern. The dark brown monocord provides an excellent silhouette in all situations.
The "Rat" works all day, all year. For many who fish spring creeks, the Rat is the first fly they try every day all year.
Try the "Rat" at dawn when large numbers of midge pupa are in the drift.
HOOK-SZ. 20 94840 or equivalent
BODY-Brown Monocord. Start the thread over the hook point. Wrap the thread forward to two hook eye lengths from the eye. Wind back to the bend of the hook. Return the thread to two hook eye lengths from the eye
Dubbing-Dub very sparsely with muskrat under fur. Wind dubbing over the area two hook eyes behind the hook eye leaving the length of a hook eye for the head.
Whip finish a head over the first hook eye. Don’t settle for a half hitch, it will unravel!