A School of RSP’s

This photo is 2-1/2 dozen of my original variation of the Picket Pin, formerly known as the Red Squirrel Silver Picket Pin, now called by a name that is much easier and faster to say, the “RSP.”

My friends, brother, niece and I have been fishing the RSP since the early ’90’s with great success. I have used it primarily in Maine, though I don’t doubt at all that it would take trout in any stream where “red fin minnows” abound. My dad used to call them that, I think it’s a local name for Black-nosed Dace.

RSP minnow imitation, size #8 - 4xl, an original streamer fly by Don Bastian. Anyone care to play, "What's wrong with this picture?"

Here is the recipe:


Thread: Danville Flymaster 6/0 Brown

Hook: Size #6 – #10 4x long. This pattern could be made larger, but I have always fished it in #8 and #10.

Tail: Brown schlappen fibers or hen hackle

Rib: Oval silver tinsel

Body: Flat silver tinsel

Hackle: Brown schlappen or hen fibers

Wing: Red squirrel. Fox squirrel was used on these, the markings are the same as red squirrel with the reddish-brown tips and black center.

Head: Peacock herl. Use two strands; winding two at once gets the job done faster, but moreover, two strands of peacock herl are twice as strong as one. Add a drop of head cement before winding the herl.

Here is a link to my Magalloway River Brook Trout Trio post, with photos of three big brookies caught last May on the RSP: https://donbastianwetflies.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/magalloway-river-brook-trout-trio/

Here is the link to the RSP Product page on MyFlies.com: http://www.myflies.com/RSP-P618.aspx

More RSP's - from a different, earlier batch than the ones above. Same hook size, this photo was added on April 13th.

RSP - tied and photographed by Bob Petti of New York. Bob is one of the contributing tiers for my upcoming book, The Favorite Flies of Mary Orvis Marbury. The river in the background is the Upper West Branch of the Delaware River, the date Bob took the photo was Opening Day in New York, April 1st. He noted unfortunately, he was unable to get the RSP into a trout's jaw. Better luck next time Bob! Thanks for sharing the photo.

12 comments on “A School of RSP’s

  1. Joe Cordeiro says:

    Whats wrong … OUCH strain the peepers; from the left, second row, second fly in has no hackle beard. What did you get lazy and forgot to add it on… HMMMM tuff to get old Don… my short term memory is failing. NICE TIES ! I think I might tie a few up for my box!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Yeah, it was a simple missed item. I didn’t notice it until I looked at the photos. They’re all on their way to customers now…I was tying them intermittently with a room full of fly tiers last weekend at Seven Spirngs Resort. Lots of distractions…Some of the time I was tying I was also enjoying a libation…at least in the evening. The morning flies were tied with coffee. I did get some fish in the lake on the RSP too.
      Thanks for your comment Joe…for trout and landlocked salmon you won’t go wrong with the RSP. Hey those fish in the Rapid River have never seen this fly…you better tie some up! Thanks!

      • Joe Cordeiro says:

        I like this fly so much I tweeted it and the link …wonder if you can distinguish the flies made in the mornning with a cup of JOE in hand…. hope the libation in the evening was Crown Royal and a cube !
        Joe Cordeiro

      • Don Bastian says:

        Hi Joe;
        Thanks for the tweet. Geez, technology these days…I can’t see myself tweeting. Anyway, thank YOU, Joe, for “tweeting my fly!
        The libation was not Crown Royal…but rather Yuengling Lager and a side of Evan Williams Honey; Saturday night it was 18-year-old Jameson, both neat. I didn’t have too much, though, because I was “working.” :mrgreen:
        It was funny, the first morning I took some ribbing from the guys who went to bed early – like 9:30 – 10:00 PM, while Tom Baltz and I were still up tying, talking, with a few other guys. The early-to-bed boys teased me about the tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap of my hairstacker…next morning, being the first one up about 6:15 AM, guess what; tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap… I made the coffee too… 🙂 A couple guys were knocking on their bedroom wall…they had to get up for breakfast anyway. You’d think the last people to complain about a hairstacker would be fellow fly tiers…!

  2. Great looking minnows. Only thing I see “wrong” is looks like some peacock heads are different sizes and looks like two different hooks were used???

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Kirk;
      Nope. Sorry…the hooks are all the same, from the same box, probably the different light angle makes some a bit more shiny… and the peacock herl heads, perhaps the nap faces both forward and rearward…that too was all from the same pack of strung herl. Thanks for playing along! Glad you like my school of minnows! Thank you!

      • I guess I should have just checked the first comment to save embarrassment, it is so obvious after Joe pointed the misfit out. Must be the light angle like you say on the hooks, even knowing that, some of them still look like limerick bend while most look like round bend.

      • Don Bastian says:

        Hi Kirk;
        Thanks for your comment!
        I am the one embarrassed the most here, but I have learned to laugh and let others laugh at my mistakes. When I saw the hackle-less fly in the lot, my last thought was to “not post the photo,” but rather have fun with it. My friend Joe Cordiero got it, but it’s probably from those years of him watching Sesame Street…”Three of these things belong together, three of these things are kind of the same…one of these things is doing it’s own thing…now it’s time to play our game…!” Ha!

  3. Phil Butterfield says:

    Minnesota trout opener is Saturday, April 14, looking forward to teasing some Minnesota native Brook trout with the RSP’s you tied for me; thanks again.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Phil;
      Thank you for your comment, and thanks again for placing the RSP order on MyFlies.com.
      The Pennsylvania Opener (officially) is also this Saturday, April 14. I am fishing Spring Creek near Bellefonte with friends. I won’t likely use the RSP since the weather forecast is for overcast, in the 60’s…there are TONS of Baetis there…likely we’ll be using #18 & #20 BWO nymph, dun, and spinner patterns for the trout that will hopefully, be rising with regularity at some point during the day. If the weather holds for cloudy and the trout do what we hope…regardless, for lunch we’re grilling venison burgers, and one of my friend actually made home-made whole wheat burger rolls…how cool is that? Toast those babies up, melted cheese…ah! Accompanied with beers, macaroni salad, marinated olives, chips, yup, we’re gonna have a great time even if we get skunked, but knowing Spring Creek as I do, that ain’t happenin’. :mrgreen:
      Please Phil, if you have any angling luck with the RSP, I’d love to hear about it…thanks again for your comment! Good luck fishing!

  4. Steve Dean says:

    Good to see that even pros make a mistake every now and then. I’d be willing to bet the fish don’t mind though. I’ve tied up a few of these myself. I can’t wait to give them a try! Thanks for another great looking and proven fish catcher!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Steve;
      Thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate it! I hope you have success with the RSP and please, if you do, post a comment here with any fish stories. Glad you like the pattern, thanks again!

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