Kieron Jenkins brings you his go-to small stilwater lure…
Now and again for any trout angler, a smallwater ‘bash’ is crucial, especially after a few tough days on the water. Not only does it give we anglers the confidence that we can actually catch fish, but it gives us the chance to try out some new fly patterns and variations. The past year has seen me fishing more of these ‘rabbit’ type patterns when fishing at my local smallwaters, they provide the necessary movement to entice takes, as well as a burst of colour to attract the recent stockies.
This fly has been my go-to lure over the winter and early part of the season, along with its black and green brother. I tend to fish the Comet Cat on a fast intermediate or Di3 – depending on how deep the fish are – with a long steady pull to get the most movement out of the mink tail. It’s a particularly effective way to fish if you’re heading to a new water, allowing you to fish through the water column until you find the trout.
One of my most memorable days fishing this year came with using this pattern at Garnfrwdd Trout Fishery. After a recent stocking many of the fish were holding on the windward bank as they do on many trout waters. The regular lures I had in my box were getting the odd fish, although the flies seemed to be too aggressive in the way they sank. The marabou tail wasn’t enough to hold the fly level and I had to move them too quickly resulting in less takes. I soon switched to this Comet Cat and my catch rate increased tenfold. The mink tail seemed to give the fly more buoyancy and better profile in the water; this allowed me to fish my flies slowly on a sinker without dropping out of the feeding zone.
1) When securing the mink strip to the hook you may find that body becomes ‘fat’. To combat this, I cut the skin of the mink strip in half horizontally, removing the top section. This gets rid of any fur that may get trapped with the tread, and most of the hair follicles, giving you a pure piece of skin to secure.
2) When winding the body material keep each turn fairly well spaced. The brightness of the FNF Block Jelly means you don’t need as many turns on the hook as you may think. I tend to use just four turns of Fritz on a size 10 hook. Less turns of Fritz also reduces the risk of masking the gape, resulting in better hook-ups – a great tip to put into practice on many other ‘Fritz’ patterns.
3) Secure the eyes with a waterproof superglue and plenty of turns of thread. If your eyes come loose they may slip down the hook and ruin the rest of the fly.
Born and raised on the rivers and lakes of south Wales, Kieron Jenkins has become one of the leading competition anglers of our time. With multiple ‘Brown Bowls’ under his belt, along with a creditable fourth position at World level, fly fishing and fly tying has become his life, passion and obsession for Fulling Mill’s Digital Marketing Manager.