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Jan 23rd, 2013
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New crawfish fly ready to share (and a bonus new creation) #13317128 10/20/19 06:46 PM
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McKinneyLonghorn Offline OP
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Two of my favorite flies for creek and river fishing are the Mardi Craw from Living Waters in Round Rock and the Rio Getter from Matt Bennett. I like coming up with my own fly patterns so I wanted to create something that could be used interchangeably with these flies. So this past spring I set out to come up with something unique. After fishing it on two different trips to the Hill Country (covering seven different rivers) and several trips to the Paluxy, I pretty much have all the kinks worked out and am ready to share it.

I am naming it the Hill Country Craw since that is where I first caught fish on it. The body and tail of the fly is based on the tying technique that you use for the Tabou Caddis, a great caddis emerger that is not only fun to tie, but is also the first fly I ever caught a trout on during a trip to Estes Park, Colorado in 2015. Tying the Hill Country Craw is pretty simple, but for a better explanation of the tail and body technique, you can watch Tim Flagler's video of the Tabou Caddis.

Materials:
Jig hook (size 10-14)
Slotted tungsten bead (sized to hook)
Thread
Small ultra wire
Whiting Coq de Leon or Brahma Hen Soft Hackle with Chickabou
Senyo Fusion Foil Legs
[Linked Image]

Step 1
Pick a piece of the Chickabou from the pelt and tie it in at the rear of the hook, leaving a very short tail. Do not trim off the excess.
[Linked Image]
Step 2
Staying at the rear of the hook, tie in the rubber legs, leaving two legs on each side of the hook. Also tie in the wire at the rear of the hook and then tie it all the way up the shank of the hook, leaving the thread right behind the tungsten bead. I really like the Fusion Foil Legs (in both the copper/green and copper/red) since they add a bit of flash to otherwise drab flies.
[Linked Image]
Step 3
Using hackle pliers, grab the end of the Chickabou feather and gently twist he feather into a loose rope. Palmer this up the hook shank, tying off behind the head. Next, palmer the wire up the book shank and tie off. The feather is not super tough, and without the wire the flies tended to not be very durable. It will look a bit messy but that is OK.
[Linked Image]
Step 4
Select a soft hackle and tie it in behind the bead and wrap it like you would a traditional soft hackle. Whip finish the fly and cut the thread.
[Linked Image]
Step 5
I like to trim the rubber legs where they are just a bit longer than the tail. I think this makes it more likely that the fish will eat the fly versus just nipping at the legs.
[Linked Image]

I have tied this fly in five different colors so far and during my trip to the Hill Country two weeks ago I caught fish on each color. I tie it in sizes 10-14 and find sizes 12 and 14 are probably the best producers. Additionally, the Chickabou feathers from Brahma hens are not really long enough to tie a size 10, but work great for the smaller sizes. The soft hackles on the Coq de Leon pelts are a bit large for the size 12 and 14 hooks but if you use this technique you can make it work.

Clockwise from bottom left, with the color names used by Whiting: Coq de Leon Speckled Chartreuse (size 10), Brahma Tan (size 14), CDL Speckled Brown (size 10), CDL Speckled Orange (size 10, Brahma Golden Olive (size 12). I have some Brahma Mottled Gray and CDL Speckled Salmon to experiment with next, but I haven't tied with them yet.
[Linked Image]

In my trips I have caught numerous species of sunfish, Guadalupe bass, largemouth bass and Rios so I think this fly is a keeper. I typically have been fishing it with slow strips and hops along the bottom, but have also tried swinging it in the current like you would a traditional trout soft hackle and it works that way as well.

Also, during the recent trip the fishing on Friday was canceled due to the massive cold front that blew threw. Wet wading with air temps in the low 40s, 30 mph winds and rain didn't sound too fun. Anyway, since I was trapped at my campsite at South Llano River State Park and had my fly tying gear with me, I came up with something else new at the request of my father who was accompanying me on the trip. This one hasn't been fished much yet (I haven't used it at all) but my dad did catch some spotted bass, bluegill and longear on it yesterday. Since he caught the fish in Ten Mile Creek, we have dubbed the fly the Ten Mile Creek Critter. It may still undergo some modifications (I am thinking a version with a soft hackle between the dubbed body and hotspot would look great) but it does catch fish in its current form.

Materials used on the fly below:
Jig hook (size 14)
2.8mm black slotted tungsten bead
Brown 10/0 thread
Brassie ultra wire - Chartreuse
SLF dubbing - Sculpin Golden Brown
Haretron Dubbing - Burnt Orange
Micro Grizzly Rubber Legs - Root Beer
Whiting Coq de Leon Rooster Cape (for the tail)

Tying it is is pretty simple. Tie in the tail fibers and wire at the rear of the hook, then dub a thin body and palmer the wire up. Tie in the rubber legs behind the bead and dub in a hotspot to add flash and push the rubber legs back.

[Linked Image]




Re: New crawfish fly ready to share (and a bonus new creation) [Re: McKinneyLonghorn] #13317892 10/21/19 11:34 AM
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Bones72 Offline
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Great ties. A little invention and using your head for something other than a hat rack is why I love tying. I like both flies but the "Ten Mile Creek Critter" would be a real rio terror on Brushy Creek. The rios there seem to dig flies with a slender silhouette and some rubber legs.

Re: New crawfish fly ready to share (and a bonus new creation) [Re: McKinneyLonghorn] #13318624 10/22/19 01:30 AM
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banker-always fishing Online Content
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Nice flies and post. Thanks for sharing. thumb




IGFA World Record Rio Grande Cichlid. Lake Dunlap.

John 3:16

Re: New crawfish fly ready to share (and a bonus new creation) [Re: McKinneyLonghorn] #13321815 10/25/19 02:12 AM
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McKinneyLonghorn Offline OP
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Glad y’all like them. Coming up with new flies or variations of existing flies is what I enjoy most about tying.

Re: New crawfish fly ready to share (and a bonus new creation) [Re: McKinneyLonghorn] #13322689 10/26/19 01:22 AM
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KQT Offline
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Very nice thank you for sharing


Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.
Re: New crawfish fly ready to share (and a bonus new creation) [Re: McKinneyLonghorn] #13322868 10/26/19 05:37 AM
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gar1970 Offline
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Awesome write up and pics cheers


When you catch a fish you feel the door to happiness open
Re: New crawfish fly ready to share (and a bonus new creation) [Re: McKinneyLonghorn] #13340613 11/13/19 03:48 AM
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McKinneyLonghorn Offline OP
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Tied up some more crawfish. I think these pictures (and flies) are a lot better looking than the ones I tied earlier so I am posting them. These are a size 14.
[Linked Image]

Also, the Ten Mile Creek Critter continues to get the job done on its namesake creek. These fish were caught by my dad just before the cold front came through. I also decided to tie up a soft hackle version using bobwhite quail. I think it will fish nicely as well.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Re: New crawfish fly ready to share (and a bonus new creation) [Re: McKinneyLonghorn] #13340733 11/13/19 01:22 PM
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Bones72 Offline
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Love some soft hackles. Soft hackles saved the day in Colorado many times when the fish got picky. Hard to believe it after having tied for Texas fish now but just a year ago I would have considered a #14 fly GIANT. I believe those flies would be some rio getting sons of guns; not to mention the guads too. If you did the non soft hackles in olive and or black I think they would be pretty good for a damsel nymph as well. May have to tie up something similar and go sore lip some the spotted bass in my local creek. Hopefully the cold weather has the longears a little dormant.

Re: New crawfish fly ready to share (and a bonus new creation) [Re: Bones72] #13341582 11/14/19 03:45 AM
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McKinneyLonghorn Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Bones72
Love some soft hackles. Soft hackles saved the day in Colorado many times when the fish got picky. Hard to believe it after having tied for Texas fish now but just a year ago I would have considered a #14 fly GIANT. I believe those flies would be some rio getting sons of guns; not to mention the guads too. If you did the non soft hackles in olive and or black I think they would be pretty good for a damsel nymph as well. May have to tie up something similar and go sore lip some the spotted bass in my local creek. Hopefully the cold weather has the longears a little dormant.


I am a big fan of fishing beadhead soft hackles below hoppers for sunfish as well as swinging smaller weightless soft hackles for trout. A size 14 is about as small as I like to tie. I only tie tiny (size 18-20) flies in the winter since that is when I usually make a few trips up to Beavers Bend for trout. I came across my box of size 20 nymphs the other day and couldn't believe I tied them. Made my eyes hurt just looking at them.

I liked your idea of imitating a damsel nymph so I came up with this. These size 14s use dragonfly olive Whitlock's SLF dub, small olive ultra wire, olive micro legs and shrimp pink sow/scud dubbing.

[Linked Image]


Re: New crawfish fly ready to share (and a bonus new creation) [Re: McKinneyLonghorn] #13341728 11/14/19 12:46 PM
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Bones72 Offline
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I like em. I love putting a bright color on as a "hot spot"; gives the fishes a target in my opinion. I wish #20 was as small as was necessary in Colorado. I tied down to #24 there and whn I was in Kentucky got down as far as a #32 for the Cumberland or the Elk River in W. Va. Actually #18-#20 has been a fairly common size in my boxes as both in Kentucky and Colorado the major hatches were smaller flies such as BWOs and Tricos. Loved certain hatches and certain places because I could go bigger. On the trout stream on Ft. Knox, Otter Creek, there was a hatch of False Quill Gordons in March that the fish went nutty for and they were a #14. On the Cumberland there was the Mothers Day caddis, not sure why they were called that because they were not the true bug but actually a dun sedge, so dun they were almost powder blue, anyway they were a #16 and in Colorado once I started seeing hoppers well then I could really big with stimis and the like and crash the trico spinner fall or even better if there was high water from runoff on the Dream Stream I could throw a #10-#6 rusty slump buster. These were only certain times with narrow windows though and the workaday bugs were tiny I'll see if I can get a shot of one of my midge boxes to give you an idea later.

I really like the rubber legs you're incorporating. I am glad they have the nymph sized leg material now. I used to use barred size small spanaflex especially when tying Pat's Rubber Legs, little worried as I have not seen it in the catalogs lately.

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