The White and Green Cat's Whisker

Fry fishing for big fish is great fun. When Autumn Fall arrives the trout in big lakes and reservoirs take advantage of the shoals of fry that have appeared from this seasons egg hatches. They feast on them to put on weight before the winter.

The White and Green Cat's Whisker for Rainbow Trout Fishing


C2 White and Green Cats Whisker Streamer Hook Size 8   - Quantity: 
C2 White and Green Cats Whisker Streamer Hook Size 10  - Quantity: 

You should change your big water fishing style to include streamers like David Train’s classic Cat’s Whisker fly pattern to track down these large fry-feeders. After the hot bright days of summer the cooler overcast blustery days that follow heralds brews of activity below the surface, with marauding trout searching for shoals of fry to harass and eat. Not so long ago these same fish were gently sipping the surface for buzzers and hatching mayfly and caddis. They are now hungry and a feeding frenzy begins so they can pack on the pounds by devouring as many protein packed smaller juvenile fry fish their stomach can hold.

Very often trout find shoals of fry in the shallows of the water margins and near weed beds. The fry prefer these locations as they offer some protection. This is where you should start to cast your fly. In more blustery days fry shoals can be found in deeper parts of the water. Look out for seagulls, terns or cormorant activity on the water surface. They may have spotted rainbow trout fry-feeding just under the surface and causing a disturbance as the fry desperately try to get away.

The Cats Whisker Streamer Lure was invented
by the English fly fisherman David Train

When the trout are feeding on small pin fry then use similar size fly patterns in or near the surface. Using light tackle like a 10ft 6 to 7wt rod, will make it easier to keep casting all day. Some trout are only interested in the bigger fry. The light weight rods and lines will have problems to provide sufficient turnover to cast effectively. A heavier line of 8-9wt is required with bigger flies. Your rod choice should match the line. Try a team of two flies 8 feet apart on 15 foot 8lb leader.

Pulling them fast is not the only way to fish the flies. Movement in your streamers is very important. The large rippling wing on the Cat’s Whisker as it retrieved, helps suggest that this artificial fly is alive and actually swimming. Trout will often follow the flies at a distance so a pause often brings results. The weighted eyes add more realism as the head of the fly looks down before darting upwards again suddenly in the next pull. Chuck them out and rip the line back. Keep the retrieved length varied.

It is not always necessary to fish for bass with large flies. Bass are voracious eater and will often attack other fish that are quite large but they will also eat aquatic insects as well as small fry bait fish. I have found that flies with some color or flash are normally more successful. The British Cat's Whisker is a great bass catcher for me both on rivers and lakes here in the US. I like to fish it by simply drifting it down the current. If I get no reaction I often cast a cats whisker out and then strip in the line rapidly to suggest a fleeing bait fish darting about. It is this swift movement that catches the eye of the hungry bass. They are great little streamers that work. Another good thing the Brits have come up with. Try them. they work. Mark Shepherd, Dallas. TX

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The White and Green Cat's Whisker for Rainbow Trout Fishing
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