Today, I was perusing the fine work of Lucian Vasies; wonderfully tied flies and perfect macro photography. I noted one of his patterns was a nymph tied with ‘catgut’. Catgut? Hmmm? First thing that popped into my mind wasn’t a pleasant thought as Penny the Cat nuzzled into my lap. But, I was obviously (now) misinformed as to what catgut is.

Lucian Vasies Catgut Nymph

“Catgut is a type of cord that is prepared from the natural fiber found in the walls of animal intestines. Usually sheep or goat intestines are used, but it is occasionally made from the intestines of cattle, hogs, horses, mules, or donkeys. The word catgut may have been an abbreviation of the word cattlegut. Also, it may have been derived from folk etymology from kitgut or kitstring…the word kit meaning fiddle…which may have been confused with kit or a young cat.” (x)

The catgut material does a nice job of providing segmentation for the pupa abdomens in Lucian’s patterns