A few Cat Gut Nymphs

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Loopy, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. Loopy

    Loopy Member

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    Primarily for the grayling - the season starts in a couple of week's time over here.
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    Hook: Dai Riki 270 size 18

    Bead: Bright red 1.5mm bead

    Thread: Cream

    Body: Cat Gut (natural shade) small size

    Over body: UV glue

    Legs: Hare's Ear

    :)
     
  2. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    One might have a hard time finding "cat gut" (actually silkworm or "caterpillar" gut) on this side of the pond. Silkworm gut was the material used to construct leaders before the development of synthetic materials like monofilament. The "gut" was torn from the silkworm, stretched and treated in an acid solution to harden it and then drawn through a series of diamond dies to achieve a uniform diameter. This is the source of our standardized system of rating tippet diameters (1x,2x, etc.). The maximum possible length of such a stretched piece of silkworm gut was about 20 inches, which is why many modern leader recipes still call for 18-inch lengths of monofialment for hand-tied, tapered leaders (18 inches plus enough extra to tie the knots). Unless the material was kept moist, it would become brittle and crack, split or break, so it was necessary to keep it in a "leader box", usually a small, round aluminum container with felt pads moistened with a mixture of water and glycerine, between which the coiled leaders were kept ready for use.
     
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  3. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

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    Loopy, those are buggy looking. I have no doubt just about any fish would go for them.

    Preston, thanks for the insight. I probably knew most of this but your concise explanation is much appreciated. I remember my Dad having several leader boxes.
     
  4. Loopy

    Loopy Member

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    Very good Preston. Top man.

    Just to expand, the term - catgut stems from the sixteenth century (OED) apparently - A catling was catgut,a kitten, or a small lute-string.
     
  5. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    Preston when are you writing a book I would like to buy it and pretend I know as much about fly fishing as you have likely forgotten....

    You are always a great source of wisdom and knowledge
    thanks
     
  6. Ron Eagle Elk

    Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

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    Loopy,

    Nice flies. Red bead and not Pink for the Ladies?

    I get gut for flies from www.feathersmc.com . Don't look at all the feathers and dubbing, you'll overspend, at least I do.
     
  7. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    Me too.
     

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