Tying the W.F.F. Hairball

[singlepic id=2340 w=320 h=240 float=right]

This pattern was my entry for the 2010 Pet-Fly Smackdown, a friendly competition between fellow anglers involving a fly made incorporating some material from a pet you own. This fly has been fishing rather well this season and as such I’ve gotten a few requests for the pattern, this should be one better than just listing it. The Hairball can be fished as a mini-streamer with a stripped or twitched retrieve, it’s effective when fished on the swing and makes a great single or lead nymph in a two fly rig. I tie it rather heavy so it sinks quickly, a necessity on some of our creeks. Recently I’ve been experimenting with different color and bead combinations that will hit the streams in the coming months as spring arrives and the trout put on the feed bag. I should also clarify something, in previous posts I have referred to a #10 or 12 Hairball.  When developing this pattern I first tied it with a SM Black Conehead on a #10 or 12 2X Long Nymph hook. After fishing it a while I tied a few other batches with a larger but shorter #8 2X Short Scud hook. After fishing both I have abandoned the smaller longer hook and will continue tying this fly on the larger #8/10 2X Short Scud [singlepic id=2341 w=320 h=240 float=left]Hook, I feel the larger hook gap is needed. The bead will inevitably change over time, I’ll use what I have handy and I enjoy changing things, trying new combinations but for the record the original pattern calls for the 2x Short Scud hook with a black bead. You may see the old version pop in from time to time but that’s me just fishing out whats in my boxes. Enjoy the video for the W.F.F. Hairball.



  1. Nice — love the shot in the end where it looks like a pack of felines yakked all over the floor…

    Very unique pattern btw– I like it, I can imagine it really pulses in the water


  2. Thanks for posting this fly. I was curious after reading your posts. I will try tying a few tomorrow.

  3. Thanks guys.

    Brian I bet this thing could take a few fish over your way, I may even try it for carp. It does move in the water. Looks good hanging from a big brown.

    I hope this thing catches a fish or two for you CF.

  4. Love the Hairballs man! I tied up a dozen last night; they’re simple, but very buggy. Are you the originator?

    • Yea John, this pattern here is all me. Glad you like it, you should let me know how it fishes for you. I’d love to post a picture of someone elses catch with a pattern I made in it’s mouth.

  5. What type of hair are you using? I used fox tail fur for mine and it almost looks like an exact match.

  6. I’m using a guard hair/underfur mix from a long haired cat that I own. It’s free and works very well for this purpose.

  7. Hi- I am new at tying flies…curious, do you cut the hair from the cat or comb out? Success rate in stream or river?

    • I typically collect the cat hair by brushing through out the year but once a summer we shave him for his own comfort and I collect the majority then, so both. This fly has been fished mainly in smaller streams and not larger rivers.

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