One of my favorite ways to fish small rivers and creeks is with a crawfish fly. I have been using one I copied from a pattern I bought in March at the fly fishing expo in Plano (see this thread) but while that fly is relatively easy to tie, it does take a little bit of time. I decided to create my own pattern using as few a materials as possible, and came up with a pattern that is not only easy to tie, but can be fully tied in 3-5 minutes.
I have dubbed this the Linebreaker Craw after what happened the first time I used it. Over Labor Day weekend we were fishing a small creek on a family member's ranch in Bosque County (Childress Creek if anyone is from around there and knows the local streams). I cast the fly into a medium-sized pool and a bass that I estimate about 3 pounds smashed it, only to break my tippet a few seconds later (I had been hanging my line up in creekside vegetation all day so I am sure there was a week point in the line). Anyway, the new fly needed a name and Linebreaker Craw seemed catchy, so the Linebreaker Craw was born. And to my mild surprise, even though this is a tiny creek, my brother pulled a 4 pound largemouth out of it two days later on a chatterbait, so the big ones are in there.
Anyway, I managed to land a bass and green sunfish on the fly yesterday at the Paluxy River, so I can confirm it catches fish. (See video here)
Materials: Gamakatsu B10S Size 4 6/0 UNI thread - Rusty Brown Fly Tyers Dungeon Sand Crab Dubbing - Orange Crawfish Small or Medium red dumbbell eyes Zonker Strip - Rusty Brown Rubber Legs - Orange
Step 1: Tie the eyes on hook Step 2: Flip hook over and tie on zonker strip by first piercing the hide with the hook point. Tie on the strip along the shank of the hook where the fur side is facing up (when the hook point is pointing up). I do this since the fly will ride hook point up in the water. Step 3: Tie the rubber legs in so they are about 3/4 as long as the zonker strip, maybe a bit shorter. I use two longer legs, which I tie in the middle so there are four legs total on the fly, two on each side of the hook. Step 4: Make a dubbing loop and insert the dubbing. Wrap up the shank of the hook and then around the eyes so they are covered. Step 5: Take a velcro strip/tooth brush/etc and rough up the dubbing to get rid of trapped fibers. Step 6: Whip finish. Step 7: Catch fish.
If you have never used the Fly Tyers Dungeon products, a lot of his dubbing have micro rubber legs built into them so they are very buggy. The one I use here is called Sand Crab and is very course, and works perfect on this fly. It comes in 8-10 colors for tying crabs, crawfish or whatever else you choose.
With yesterday's results, I tied up a few more so I'll be ready next time.
It is certainly not the most realistic craw pattern out there, but when I can crank out six of them in a half hour and they catch fish, I don't see any need to overcomplicate it. I have some Crawfish Red Sand Crab dubbing and some Olive Sand Crab dubbing (along with zonker strips and rubber legs in the same colors) so I may tie it in a few different colors, but other than that, I think I am done tinkering with it.
Here is some underwater footage I took of the craw. I like how the rabbit strip points up in the water when at rest, resembling a crawfish with his claws up in the defensive position. I fished it a few ways yesterday, but so far all three fish I have hooked have came when I was simply dragging it slowly along the bottom, likely leaving a nice muddy trail in its wake.