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Cat's Whisker Fly


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This subject came up Other Species Catch thread, and I referenced the pattern I published before, so decided to offer it here for BR. 

You'll have a tough time finding a more useful smallmouth fly, especially if you fish sinking lines. 



Hook: 2x-long or 3x-long streamer hook, size 8 or 10 (I use Tiemco 5263)
Thread: to match body
Accent: Krystal Flash
Tail: marabou

Body: medium chenille
Wing: arctic fox (I like the arctic fox zonker strips best) or marabou
Eyes: bead chain pair


Start the thread at the eye, and tie in 3 to 4 strands of Krystal Flash to tail length using a few wraps. Make a long loop forward by bringing the other ends back and adding to the tail. Leave the loop hanging over the eye for now.


Lightly pull the tail strands as you finish the base thread wrap to the back of the hook, wrapping over the Krystal Flash. For maximum flash, clip the tail strands to uneven lengths.


Tie in the marabou tail over the strand ends. (I cut 3 equal stem segments from the center of the feather, and twist these together. I throw away the bottom and save the tip for smaller flies.) Make 5 to 6 thread wraps on the marabou before you twist and clip the tag. Then wrap some more.


Tie in the body chenille. While your chenille wrap needs to be from the back forward, I start by bringing the thread forward, tie in the chenille, pull the tag back, and lightly cinch a length of chenille down the hook shank to add body thickness. Make 3 good thread wraps at the back and bring the thread forward again before you wrap the chenille forward. Tie off the chenille about 1/8-inch behind the eye, and trim.


Here, I turn the fly around to the bottom of the vise jaw to simplify tying in the wing. Pull the Krystal Flash loop back past the hook point and make enough thread wraps to hold it back. Trim it just behind the hook point.


Tie in a wing of arctic fox over the Krystal Flash. (I cut 1/4-inch or so from the strip and twist the fur.) Try to make the wing length close to the end of the tail. Don't pull too hard when you trim the tag or the wing will pop out from your thread wraps. (Here again, I turn the fly back to the top of the vise jaw to simplify tying in the bead chain.)


Tie a bead-chain pair on the outside of the hook shank using figure-8 wraps. Build up many wraps of thread in the figure-8's and behind the chain bead.


Whip finish behind the bead-chain. Apply head cement on all the thread.


By Ron McAlpin


David Train invented the pattern for Scot Lochs, and made the wing stand, so he claimed, using whiskers he plucked from his shy cat (where I use Krystal Flash). 

His original color was yellow chenille with white marabou wing and tail, and that works great in turbid water. 

I'm more often fishing clear TX hill country limestone, and need blend colors. 

I tie these all green, all grey, all black,

grey body and tail with light olive wing,

tan body and tail with rust-color wing. 

You can also use weighted barbells for the eyes and throw them on finesse tackle. 

It catches Everything. 

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