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After some careful consideration I have decided to submit the Hairball pattern as my entry in the Montana Fly Company design competition through the Outdoor Blogger Network. This pattern has really served me well these last couple of months and before that proved its effectiveness in the latter half of last season. Developed as my submission for the 2010 Pet-Fly Smackdown this fly has taken all three specie of trout here in Southeast Minnesota (Brook, Brown and Rainbow) and fishes well under varying conditions. I fish this pattern as a mini-streamer with a twitched or stripped retrieve as well as on the swing with a down and across presentation, it has also proven itself as a great lead [singlepic id=2005 w=320 h=240 float=left]fly in a two fly nymph rig dead drifted. I love the fact that I can fish different types of water with different presentations quickly with the Hairball, one moment it can be a streamer the next it can help get a nymph rig to the bottom of a deep run. This pattern is quick and easy to tie, subtle without too much flash and deadly effective. If your interested in more from the MFC check out their facebook page and add them to your list of friends.


  1. WFF,

    Really enjoying your site. Spent the past couple days working through the archives, lots of great tips on fishing and tying. Its great! I fish the Wisconsin corner of the Driftless Region. Been fly fishing for 5 years, but just picked up tying this winter. Your site has been a great inspiration in that regard.

    Quick question, from the pictures it looks like you use the C&F System Fly boxes. Are you happy with them?

    Look forward to your future writing.


    avatar Nic
    1. I have one real C&F Box and one kind of knock off. I do like it quite a bit, it was a bit on the expensive side but compared to the knock off it’s much nicer. The foam allows the hooks to slip in and out. I pinch alot of my barbs which helps keep the foam from getting torn up. One downside is that if you stick a #10 or larger hook in a slot for a long enough period of time and the gap in the foam stays wide making that slot useless for smaller flies. Glad I can help, good luck tying man good to hear your giving it a go. Something very satisfying about tying your own flies. Take care.

  2. Funny story — I harvested a bunch of hair off of our red-tabby-ish cat to tie some of these up. I got to the point of picking the hair out on the first fly when my eyes starting itching like crazy, I couldn’t stop sneezing, runny nose etc.

    I kept going but by fly #2 I had to say eff it. I still have a massive ball of the stuff in a bag though…

    Anyways… hope you win the competition

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