Cat's whisker

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  • March 8, 2019 at 9:44 pm #3938

    Cat’s Whisker

    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.

    I tie this fly for stripers and salt using a 4x-long size 6 stainless hook, and large stainless bead.
    For the tail I start with a pair of saddles, then cover those with a pair of full marabou blood feathers.
    Like a Clouser, this is one fly that will catch everything.
    It’s also a very good fly to learn tying with – and you’ll catch fish right off.

    You can also tie this fly to ride hook down and fish for trout – in place of a woolly bugger – simply use a tungsten head (slid up hook before you begin) in place of bead chain and tie the wing on the other side of the shank.

    Color combinations that work are yellow body and white tail and wing (David Train’s original pattern); all green, all gray, all black; grey body and tail with olive wing; tan body and tail with rust wing.

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