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In preparation for the Pet Fly Smack-down I give you the Pink Patrick and Pink Page, two of my potential entries for the tournament. I’ve been invited to join a group that gets together every year to spend a day from 6am (breakfast) til 7pm (dinner) fishing flies they have tied with fur from pets they have. My understanding is that you are allowed to fish any flies during the day but measurements and fish counts only apply to the one pet fly you have selected to use. I have chosen a variant on the popular Pink Squirrel pattern and substituted fur from one of my two felines to form the bulk of the body. My previous experience tells me that the Pink Patrick is a good bet but I tied up the darker Page version as another option that I plan to test this week prior to the tournament, allowing me to let the trout tell me which fly to put into play.
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The fur for each of these flies comes from the belly area that contains softer easy to dub fur that contains fewer guard hairs. Typically I wait until the cats get a matte in their fur and after removal I just use the matte for fur as it allows a small amount to come free each time your fingers grasp it. Some cat fur, especially from longer haired cats can be great but it can also build up very quickly leaving you with a dubbing mess, go slow and use the smallest amount possible to make neater looking flies. You can fish different sizes in the same pattern but only that one pattern and no variants in bead-heads or colors, the flies must be similar in that respect. The cost of this tournament is the gas to breakfast/dinner (and the cost of food) and the streams you want to fish, two of your fly entries go into the pot for the winner and I’ve heard speak of a fly rod but I’m mainly going to enjoy the day.
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