a cat whisker fly

This blog will look at raising your awareness on this fly and how it is fished with some basic advice of methods, lines and flies.

What’s a booby

One of the most innovative flies and a must for every Fly angler, it’s not without its opponents and controversies. Nevertheless, it must be in your top 5 flies. It uses foam material to give the fly its buoyancy and movement, you can check my previous post on fly fishing flies to give you more helpful information on Boobies and some essential flies.

Hot orange blob booby fly
Hot orange Blob Booby-Absolute must fly

Buoyant gives the fly options and it can be made natural body materials e.g. Hopper Boobies, Dioawl Bach Boobies to the lure based Boobies e.g Humongous, Snake. Learn about its different uses, fished single, in pairs, fished on the washing line, used on a floating line, intermediate or fast sink lines.

When Boobies were first introduced they were all the rage, people fished them on a short 5 or 5ft leader on a sinking line. Cast it out and let the line sink to the bottom but with the buoyant fly 4ft above the bottom, gentle pulls to imitate a stunned fry. It was deadly, the takes vicious and often fish having to killed due to the deep takes, fly swallowed. It was this that led many fisheries to ban its use, it’s now more acceptable.

Boobies are now made using man-made materials from realistic synthetic hackle or straggle fritz to using fritz material on the body. Some of the best and most effective are Booby Blobs such as Tequila, this is an all-season all favourite fly or a Martini fly to use anytime, anyplace and anyway.

Tequila booby fly
Tequila Blob Booby Another Faithful

The other thing to consider is the eye size from a 3mm foam eye, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm and 7mm or more, I prefer the 4 or 5mm as it gives me what I want to fish the washing line on a midge tip.

Black cat whisker fly
Black Cats Whisker

The point fly, usually the booby is the end fly on the cast will fish highest in-depth to the surface and the dropper (or droppers) will fish the lower levels. If you use several flies, you will cover different depths and increase your chances of finding feeding trout.

Always hang flies right to the end, that means slowly removing your flies from the water waiting for a couple of seconds at least and watch for any slight takes online by the following trout.

How do you fish booby?

Leader Size

Can be from 4ft to 12ft, 14 ft or 16ft depending on the line, fly set, method, see below. For Further Leader set up see my write up on the tackle titled “Fly Fishing Leader: Beginner’s Guide To Fly Fishing Tippet Setups“.

Single Fly

It can be used on anything from a floating line, intermediate, sink or sinking lines, on a shortish leader from 4ft to 10plus dependent on your style.

As a Team

Can be a team of two, three or four in international rules of single hooks. The two flies set up can be flies 5ft apart 10ft leader, 12ft or 14ft or more with flies distance according to your style. I prefer 12 or 14ft, with flies evenly apart. The 3flies can be 12 ft leader, flies 4ft apart, or longer again, 14ft, 16ft plus. This is the ideal washing line set up, the Booby again at the point, the two droppers can be combinations or nymphs, a blob can be a good top dropper (top fly). See my other write-ups re setups.

This can also be fished on a midge tip, intermediate or sinking lines. I prefer this on an intermediate or sink line as it gives me more flexibility when loch style.

The Retrieves

The retrieve again can be a cast and leave static or just keeping in touch, a fast figure of eight or roly-poly. I love it when the trout are chasing on the surface it’s a very visual method.
Try to mimic a stunned fry is it vertical or horizontal swim, basically create upward or sideward movement with twitching, figure eight, log draws of the line, jerky pulls or roly-poly.

Some recommended patterns

1-Cats Whisker-tradition lure pattern in booby form., use both white and black version.

2-Humongous, black and gold version.

3-Tequila Blob Booby or Orange Blob bobby.

4-Black or Black UV straggle or black straggle Booby.

5-Hopper Booby.

6-Diawl Bach Booby.

7-Peach booby with a pearl body.

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