I’ve been tying a fishing small crayfish flies for the last 3 years with great success, especially with grass carp. Eventually I came to tie them almost exclusively with squirrel tail claws and dubbed bodies. These flies have a great action in the water despite looking stiff on land. These New Carp patterns are tied slightly different from my typical rough dub craw in that I’ve tied the claws into the front of the the flies. This gives the fly a shell backed look, and a stealth bomber profile which will aid in the flies stability and hook point up ride. There are actually four styles of crayfish fly pictured above. A mid body claw tie in, a head tie in, and two styles of tailed crayfish. One with tail above hook eye and one with the tail below providing slightly different action in the water. For those of you interested I have a youtube video up describing how to tie these in detail.
Mid Body Claw Craw Carp Fly
This Carp pattern is a simple variation of my standard rough dub craw, tied with smooth dubbing, two rubber antennae, and claws tied in just behing the bead chain eyes and finished with more dubbing. All in all I think it looks pretty edible don’t you?
Head Claw Craw Carp Fly
This Carp fly took me a second to get right. You’ve got to make sure you tie the eyes on far enough back on the shank or you will run out of room. Also, make sure to use head cement at the base of the claws to keep them from pulling out and to provide definition to the claws. I brush the dubbing out a bit and cut flat on bottom for a stable fly in the water and on the mud.
Top Tail Craw Carp Fly
The top tail carp fly is easier to tie, and may look more realistic, though realism is seldom hyper critical. I’ve not fished this fly but tying it on shouldn’t bee too hard if your using a loop knot, you always use a loop knot right? For those of you using a mono loop knot check out my video on connecting your fly with a perfection loop (you probably connect your tippet with one why not your fly too? its easy and fast!). The fact that you dont have to finish the head is what makes this fly easier to tie. Whip fishing and cement, then trim you tail and your done.
Bottom Tail Carp Crayfish Fly
The Bottom tail Carp fly is just slightly different. When tying this fly tie the squirrel tail in on the side of the the shank just behind the eye. Once you’ve got both claws in and adjusted add some cement and fan out the tail evenly and trim. It may be possible to bend the fibers back under the fly and secure for the tail under look if you wish, probably a little too complicated for me though.