The Cat’s Whisker is one of the best, if not the best, when it comes to stillwater trout fishing. There are many variations but the original remains as effective today as it was decades ago when Bob Church popularised the pattern after being given a handful to try by its inventor David Train.
- Hook: Size 6 2x
- Thread: Yellow or clear mono
- Body: Double layer yellow/green or fawn/green
- Wing case: Yellow
- Legs: Green, yellow, fawn or brown – your choice
- Cut out the shape of your hopper – about 40-50mm long by 5mm wide.
This is the classic all-purpose nymph, effective for many game-fish species in all water types. The key to its success is the mottled brown hues of the hare’s fur that can suggest all manner of small aquatic insect larvae or crustaceans.
This is a very versatile pattern that will catch fish on virtually any lake or river. The key to its success is plenty of action, provided by a closely palmered hackle and a tail of soft turkey maribou.
It also has a heavily weighted underbelly formed from close turns of lead wire.
A classic caddis pattern used the world over. Simply substitute the body and wing colour to suit; the tying principals remain the same. It floats very well and is even very good skated across and down to rising fish slashing the naturals from the surface late in the day.
In lakes and slower moving rivers, the larvae of the chironomid midge make a large part of the trout’s diet. They vary in colour from pale green and brown to a bright blood red.
These red larvae, known by anglers as bloodworm, live the bulk of their lives in silt tubes, but when disturbed or migrating can move by a sinuous lashing motion.
One of a large group of themed patterns, the Thunder Creek Silver Shiner makes a robust and effective imitation of a small baitfish. Although it looks simple, it is not that easy to tie because getting the hair the right length and keeping the two colours separate takes a reasonable level of tying skill.
- Hook: Size 4 2x shank.
- Thread: Tan/fawn, orange, pink. Your choice to suit Craft fur colour.
- Body: Craft fur body. Colour tan/fawn, orange, pink ( I also used some bucktail).
- Dumbell weight and maybe some lead wire as well.
- Eyes: Burnt mono or fine bead on mono.
Although called a gnat, this is actually a great all-purpose dry fly, effective either on rivers or lakes. It works best in smaller sizes where it suggest all sorts of small creatures trapped in the surface film. It also makes a very good representation of small chironomid midges in a mating ball.
In its basic grey and silver form, the Zonker makes a fine representation of a range of baitfish species. However, it may be tied in a wide range of colours from black, white and orange to purple, the latter being very effective for various species of pacific salmon.