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Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:31 pm
by LabRat
Ron, I gave the fly a try yesterday for the first time in the pool below 6A. I haven't fishing sink tip lines much, maybe only twice before, and I was using a 150gr line on my 6wt rod.

I tried down and across cast and let the fly swing, but didn't get any takers (I was hoping for some striper action).

I got hung up a lot, which made me wonder if (1) that was normal, and (2) if you had ever experimented with a weed guard on the fly. I know it fishes better than woolly buggers due to the hook point riding up, but I wondered if a weed guard might have prevented some of the hang ups on the rock shelf.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:28 pm
by mickmcco
Tied correctly, the Cat's Whisker should ride hook up, minimizing hang ups. We found that to be true on the very rocky bottom of the Red River below Denison Dam. If we hung up, it was usually on some bait chunker's 50 lb braided line that he'd broken off trying to yank his four ounce sinker from between the rocks.

My sons and I fished gray Cat's Whiskers in both size 8 and size 10 on the Red on Wednesday. The flies produced steadily on stripers all day, and Graham and I ended the day by catching smallmouth buffaloes of 6, 6.5, 7, and 12 pounds, all on that fly.

Graham caught the 6.5 and the 12, and they were his two biggest fish ever. Despite a migraine, he was glowing all the way home.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:42 pm
by LabRat
I figured it might have been my fishing technique, being new to sink tip lines.
I have fished them on floating lines in small creeks and found that they were remarkably weedless.

Maybe the line was being wrapped around a mid stream rock so that in the retrieve I was actually pulling the fly around it and defeating the purpose of the hook riding up.

The other thought was that because I didn't have any arctic fox for the wing, I used marabou...maybe the fox is a bit stiffer and helps with hangups? I need to tie some more up, so I'll report back after my next try

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:02 am
by mickmcco
Mark:

The Guadalupe is a very tough river to fish with any kind of sink tip or sinking line. Because of it's uneven bottom, troughs, and jagged outcrops, only the most skillful anglers (like our friend Ron) can fish it expertly.

The Red River (where I've fished three times in the last two weeks), has lots of rocks of various sizes, but not nearly the amount of undulating riverbed, making it much easier to negotiate.

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:36 am
by LabRat
Thanks Mick...I can see some of your professionalism coming through regarding my bruised ego ;-)

The good thing was I only lost one or two flies...I was able to bend the hook by pulling straight back on the line slowly. I also seemed to do better if I "felt" the fly around the obstruction. I assume the striper's take isn't as subtle as trout, so setting the hook on every "tic" I felt seemed unproductive.

I am going to keep at it...part of what I love about fly fishing is there is always something new to learn! Plus I have an itch for some striper fillets

I placed my order for more materials yesterday to do the whisker properly...

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:00 pm
by mickmcco
Interestingly, the hits we were getting from stripers on the Red River were not as obvious as you might expect. We found that a lot of them hit on the drop, so we fished the fly with short strips with pauses in between. We'd notice, after a pause (when the fly would drop) the line would just tighten up, and then there would be a fish on the other end.

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:39 pm
by stiles
I was told that flies the ride hook up (like a Clouser) can poke through a trout's mouth plate and give them a lobotomy. Any truth to this?
-Pete

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:08 pm
by mickmcco
I've heard the same. I haven't used Cat's Whiskers for trout, and I think Ron ties a "trout version" of the fly that minimizes the chance that will happen.

Is that true, Ron?

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:23 pm
by LabRat
Ron addresses that on the first page of this thread...

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:56 pm
by Ron Mc
trout version - size 10 nymph hook - pinch those barbs!!!
5/32" tungsten bead

the steps are the same as above
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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.

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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.

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Tie in the marabou tail over the strand ends.

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Tie in the body chenille. I make the last wrap of chenille over the krystal flash loop to hold it back.

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trim the krystal flash

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tie in arctic fox wing and whip finish.
um, if the fox looks a little wet, it's because I always find it easier to tie in if I lick it first.

Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:46 pm
by Jimbo Roberts
I can testify the Trout version works! Jimbo

Re: cats whisker

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:40 pm
by jchristensen77
Just wanted to renew this thread.
This is hands-down, by favorite underwater fly for the Texas hill country. I actually have a box, just of this fly in various sizes and materials, but I find the arctic fox, in natural colors to be the best.
In a word --- INCREDIBLE

Re: cats whisker

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:16 pm
by Gib
I just used these for the first time ever and I tore up my friends pond. We caught 15 bluegill and 20 bass in about an hour yesterday and only used this fly. Absoluely one of my new favorites. Thanks for the SBS Ron this is fabulous!

Re: cats whisker

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:07 am
by Roofish
I'll be making an attempt to tie it :)