A New Twist on an Old Favorite

The Turkey Craw Carp Fly

In the early days of my pursuit of Carp on the fly, I spent many many fruitless hours, fishing the most likely of spots but unable to spot fish.  I quickly went to slow dragging the  bottom with weighted flies in hopes of finding my quarry.  Quickly I discovered freshwater drum.  In the early spring before the other fish come up the Missouri River feeder creek, the Freshwater Drum are there…down deep beneath the murky silt laden waters which back up this creek to varying degrees depending on river levels.   I also quickly found that a crayfish pattern seemed to be their favorite faux food, over time I honed my crayfish tying skills, developing surprisingly simple yet accurate representations of small crayfish.   Add to the mix that I was losing 4-5 flies in several hours and you can understand how I came to put weed guards on my flies.  Together, the crayfish fly with a weed guard has become a true force to be reckoned with.  With the right weed guard, the right weight and size fly, and of course a delicate touch one can fish for days, weeks, and months on end without losing ones prized fish catching weapon.  Weather I need to drag bottom, cast into overhanging brush, or pull through submerged grass, I don’t give a second thought. Over the years to come, I found that a small crayfish  fly is excellent for both Grass Carp and Common Carp, not to mention just about everything else around.  When presented to a carp such a fly is seldom rejected.

Carp fly Pattern for sale flies

A Weedless Turkey Craw Carp Fly

As for material and sizing, this particular crayfish version is very similar to my standard squirrel tail crayfish, accept for the turkey feather claws, and no squirrel in the dubbing.  Tied on a Dai-Riki #930 size 8 saltwater hook, this fly will take as much as you can give with a 15 Lb tippet.  The body is a combination of my favorite yarns, and although it may look a bit too bushy, the fibers will slick back when fished creating a great looking fly.  I’ve found that a traditional crayfish can be a hassle to tie, this variety is about as easy as any fly gets and better yet catches fish consistently, day in day out.  In my time fishing for carp, I’ve personally found simple to best, that’s why you will rarely see me fishing an elaborate crayfish imitation complete with rubber and sparkle antennae.  Believe me whey I say, I don’t leave home without a handful of these in my vest.

Carp fly


Carp fly Pattern


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2 Responses to 'A New Twist on an Old Favorite'

  1. FishnDave says:

    I like this pattern…pretty simple! What do you prefer to use for your weedguard?

    I recently tied up some simple crayfish…have you tried anything like these? Here’s the address to my blog entry:

    • Hi Dave, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I use mason hard mono for the guard, I think its 16lb test but I have a bad habit of pulling things out of bags and throwing the bag away! Your crayfish look sick. I haven’t fished that exact pattern but I have no doubt they will fish, and I like what you’ve done with omitting claws and eyes, that stuff is totally unnecessary. I still think the hardest thing to carp fishing is finding, approaching, and casting to a fish…if you get all that right, they don’t seem too picky.

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