Fly of the Week – Cat Booby

Fly Of The Week - Cat BoobyThe booby has to be one of the most devastating flies on the fishing scene, be it on a small water or a large reservoir. One thing most people fall down on is tying the eyes onto the hook, it’s a simple task which is made harder by most who try and find the quickest or easiest way. Take a look at this video on how to round and attach booby eyes to a hook. This is not the most complicated way but on large boobies it gives the best results.

Attach a strong hook into the vice, here I have used a Kamasan B175 size 8 as the tail on this booby is fairly long. To get the correct size booby eyes what I prefer to do is measure the booby cylinder against the hook shank, obviously this will differ if you’re using long shank hooks. Try and keep the eyes no wider than the hook gauge.

To round the eyes, hold the scissors at an angle and slightly take the one edge of the booby cylinder off. As you cut, turn the eye so you get more of a curvaceous cut. Apply this to each end of the booby eye and the eye should be more or less complete. My preferred thread for tying in booby eyes is 140 UTC range of threads, it’s strong and is not as coarse as others to cut through the plastazone foam.

To tie the eye in, run two layers of thread over 1/3 of the hook returning back to the eye. Place the booby eyes on top of the thread positioning them where you think they look most symmetrical. Lift the thread over the  eye making sure the eyes stay in the ideal place. Once you are happy with their positioning pull the thread tight and figure of 8 the thread around the eyes, keeping as close to the ‘bite’ point as possible, where the thread eats into the foam.

Once you’re happy, run the thread to the back of the hook and pull around an inch of marabou from a turkey feather. Remove the waste material at the bottom of the feather and tie to the back of the hook. Secure the tail in place by running the thread over the waste piece of marabou creating a tight under body for the fritz to grip too.

Tie the fritz in by removing a section of the synthetic material to expose the core and take the thread back towards the eyes. Wind the fritz over the body towards the eye, ensuring after each turn you pull the fibres backwards to get a neat body and profile. Tie the fritz off behind the eyes securing with a few extra turns. Whip finish the thread in front of the eyes to complete.

Cat Whisker Booby Tying Materials 

Hook: Kamasan b175 Size 8
Thread: Fl.Orange 140 UTC
Eyes: Yellow Booby Eyes
Tail: White Marabou
Body: Chartreuse 15mm Fritz

Written by Kieron Jenkins

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Kieron Jenkins

About Kieron Jenkins

Born and raised on the rivers and lakes of south Wales, Kieron Jenkins won his first cap at the age of nine, fishing for the Welsh Youth International team. He has gone on to prove himself as one of the leading competition anglers of his generation, both on the river and also the stillwater scene. Specialising in nymph and dry fly fishing in the small streams and larger, freestone rivers of South Wales, he’s also a highly respected and innovative fly tier. Kieron regularly contributes quality features to online and printed game fishing publications. When he’s not fly fishing, kieron is digital marketing manager at Fulling Mill.

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