Hammer Head Rough Dub Crayfish: Top Producer, Beaver Island Michigan (and Everywhere Else)

Carp flies
Crayfish fly pattern for carp and other species

Anyone who has followed my blog has probably heard me talk about a fly I call the “Rough Dub Squirrel Tail Crayfish“.  Two years ago I fished almost nothing else.  After a brief hiatus I’ve come full circle but with a twist.  Several months ago I received a request to provide some patterns for a trip to Beaver Island Michigan.  I’m used to tying small crayfish but was looking to beef things up a bit.  Having been around a while I am aware of the Hammerhead Carp fly by Ian Anderson.  One thing led to another and before you know it I was tying gobies with 4 eyes.  The extra eyes allowed for a larger dubbed body but left me a little cold with with  the big flat bar of eyes across the front.  Not only did the flies look a bit funny the eyes were subject to large amounts of torque.  I settled on a 6 eyed fly that allowed me to build out the body, protect the double eye set and still have a reasonable head profile.  Being such a fan of squirrel tail crayfish it was inevitable that the Rough Dub would take on 6 eyes and become the Hammer Head Rough Dub. After the trip to Michigan the official report on this fly was that it took more fish than any other single pattern.  I honestly wasn’t surprised at all.

warm water fly for carp drum bass and more

Even without the extra eyes the pattern is highly effective.  If you  put one of the HH versions up to your head and shake it you will hear why the fly can be so effective and is killer in off colored water where the fish could use a little help keying in on the fly.   Once they are close enough to see the pattern, the squirrel tail claws and custom dubbing do the rest.   The fly easily takes lead eyes and can be tied in sizes 2-6.  Virtually every fly I tie for myself is weedless.  That allows me to put the fly deep over rock and snags losing only a few flies in a good days fishing.  Aside from carp, this has to be the best Drum fly I have ever tied and should kill the Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and even trout.  Individual flies available or contact me for quotes on custom packs.

Carp flies

Using the name Hammer Head seems a little cheesy but I honestly don’t know what else to call it…come up with a name that sticks and I will send you a complimentary craw pack.

For those interested you can view the HH Craw gallery here.


22 Responses to 'Hammer Head Rough Dub Crayfish: Top Producer, Beaver Island Michigan (and Everywhere Else)'

  1. Gregg Martin says:

    Those are sweet! I like the term you use as reflects the original Hammerhead by those eyes. Four Eyes Rough Dub Crawfish if anyone objects to using the original name in part. My problem with squirrel tail is finding it nicely barred as yours are in small sizes, and I pick up road kills so I’ve a good selection. Dyed grey squirrel I have for hair wing steelhead/Atlantic salmon flies is a thought, if it reacts the same. Your Blind Squirrel I tied ride like they are supposed to but the wing is large in my eyes. The flies you’ve pictured are sure killers everywhere carp land.



  2. John Montana says:

    Intrigued…I might have to order some of those! I don’t get a ton of looks on crayfish patterns out here, but that has a distinctive shape. Sweet tie man.

  3. Allen says:

    How about “Rattle head rough dub craw?”
    “Rattlin’ rough dub craw”
    “Fat head rough dub craw”
    “Rattlin’ fat head craw”
    Or the “Rattle and catch crawfish”, my favorite! Especially since it rattles to help the fish key in on finding it in murky water.
    I really like the idea of using lead eyes to help it get deeper.
    I may have to get some of the squirrel and try tying, or just pony up and buy some craws myself.

    I’m shooting for the win with the name contest!

  4. Allen says:

    Cool!! Thanks!

  5. FishnDave says:

    For name…with the 6 eyes…how ’bout some variation of “Six-Pack-and-a-Pound Rough Dub Crayfish”?

    Love the dubbing…I’m assuming its a mixture? What is the main course fiber?

    • Hey Dave! the dubbing is yes a mixture…for the course stuff I’m using synthetic yak,squirrel tail, and ep fibers. Squirrel tail and yarn is the basis usually but that doesn’t need to be so. for the softer “binder” I use Red Heart Super saver yarn and Annie’s choice plastic canvas yarns for a more synthetic sparkle look.

  6. Hey; how about: “”heavy rattle craw”"

  7. Love this fly. Nice work.

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