Meat Whistle, Barr’s

Pattern Description:

This is John Barr’s Meat Whistle….a pattern he developed for bass fishing here in Colorado to replicate the pig n’ jig used by conventional tackle anglers. John is one incredibly creative guy and coupled marabou and rabbit strips with a Gamakatsu jig hook to craft a fly rod worthy comparison. In the time since John hatched the Meat Whistle concept he, and the rest of the world, have found that this pattern is equally effective on trout in both still and moving water. While a great imitation of a crayfish, the Meat Whistle can be tied in a variety of colors and sizes to imitate small baitfish as well. The unique Jig hook application makes for a pattern that can be stripped quickly or hopped and dropped much more slowly. It seems to me that the key to fishing this fly is to keep it slow…I recall watching JB fish a section of the Yampa River last year during a low water and blazing heat period. I managed to scratch NOTHING out of the runs I fished while John very slowly and methodically hopped a ginger (Virile Craw) colored Meat Whistle through the runs and pools. I marveled about how long he took to fish each cast out and admired his patience almost as much as I admired the slabs of trout he was hooking. Tie a few of these up and try them…they work, just remember…slow is better!

Materials Needed:
Hook: Gamakatsu 90 degree jig hook #1/0
Cone: Large Tungsten Copper Cone
Thread: UTC 140 denier, rusty brown
Ribbing: Brassie sized UTC Ultra Wire, Copper Brown
Body: Copper Sparkle Braid
Wing: Rusty Brown rabbit strip
Legs: Pumpkin Barred Sili Legs
Flash: Copper Flashabou
Collar: Brown Marabou

Step 1
Place the cone on the hook and place the hook in the vise with the point down. Start the thread about a quarter shank length back from the back edge of the cone and wrap a smooth thread base to the bend of the hook. Return the thread to the starting point.

Step 2
Tie in the copper braid and wire at the same time at the back of the cone as shown.

Step 3
Wrap back over the braid and the wire to the bend of the hook. Return the thread to the front again.

Step 4
Wrap the braid forward from the bend creating a slender body. Tie off the braid and clip the excess.

Step 5
Invert the hook in the vise.

Step 6
Pierce the strip of rabbit hide with the hook point right in the center of the strip. Make sure there is enough length for the strip to reach from the bend to the front of the hook.

Step 7
Pull the hook through the hide and slide the strip down to the base of the body at the rear of the hook. This entails removing the hook from the vise to butt the strip up to the back of the body.

Step 8
Tie the front end of the rabbit strip down tightly at the front edge of the body. Be careful not to build up too much bulk here. Clip the excess rabbit strip and cover the butt end with a smooth thread base.

Step 9
Using the end of the wire like a needle, thread the tip of the wire through the rabbit strip matuka style wing. Keep the wire down close to the hook shank to keep from binding down the rabbit hair.

Step 10
Continue ribbing the wire forward at evenly spaced intervals through the wing/body assembly as described above.

Step 11
Once at the front of the body, wrap the wire around the shank two times and tie it off with the thread. Clip the excess wire flush.

Step 12
Turn the hook over in the vise once again. I prefer to turn the hook point down as much as possible, as this hook is wicked sharp and will draw blood in the upright position.

Step 13
Double over two strands of Sili-Legs and loop them over the shank at the front edge of the body.

Step 14
Tie the Sili-Legs in place with a few tight turns of thread. They should be tied on top of the rabbit strip, along the sides of the fly.

Step 15
You should now have two legs on each side of the fly as shown.

Step 16
Place the long ends of the Sili-Legs into your material spring to keep them out of the way while we continue with the rest of the fly.

Step 17
Cut a small clump of Flashabou from the hank and tie it in behind the cone at the center of its length. The flash should extend about a half-inch past the hook bend.

Step 18
Work the flash all the way around the shank with your fingers so it is evenly distributed 360 degrees around the shank. Double the long front ends back so they point to the rear of the hook and bind all the flash in place with several tight turns of thread.

Step 19
Select and measure a marabou feather so the tips reach back just past the bend of the hook.

Step 20
Tie the marabou feather down at the back edge of the cone on the top of the hook shank. Try to spread the feather out so it encompasses the top half of the shank. Do not cut the butt end of the marabou yet.

Step 21
Invert the hook and tie in another marabou feather on the bottom of the shank equaling the length of the first.

Step 22
Clip the butt ends of the marabou as close to the shank as possible. It is imperative to keep a clean tie down here to eliminate bulk.

Step 23
Cover the butt ends of the marabou with a few tight, smooth wraps of thread.

Step 24
Shove the cone back up against the butt ends of the marabou collar as tightly as possible.

Step 25
Bring the thread to the front of the cone and make a few tight turns of thread immediately at the front edge of the cone.

Step 26
Build up a tapered thread base matching the taper of the front of the cone. Whip finish and clip the tying thread.

Step 27
Trim the Sili-Legs so they reach to about the middle of the tail.

Step 28
Place a drop of UV resin on the thread wraps at the front of the cone.


I am fishing for brook trout / speckled trout. I am trying to buy the barrs meat whistle flies in Canada. Can you give me a location to purchase a few. Have a great day. Chuck

Charles Cadeau

Were can I buy a barrs meat whistle flies in Canada chartreuse ?

Charles Cadeau

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