Turneffe Crab [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Turneffe Crab

05-18-2006, 11:17 AM
Hi Everyone
I have found a number of references to this fly with pictures in the archive, I have also seen it in Dick Brown's book.
However I cannot work out how to tie the fly.
I understand that the body is made from furry foam but how do you tie it on?
Is it folded double and then glued?
I would really apreciate some help.

Many thanks in advance.


05-18-2006, 11:42 AM
As far as i can remember..
First tie in the dumbell eyes,next step is to tie in a strip of furry foam wich you trap along the hookshank towards the hookbend, work your way towards the dumbell, tie in the rubber legs, then you take the strip of furryfoam wich you bend over the shank and tie in near the dumbell eyes, at this point you can cut the furry foam into shape (on the front), finish by taking a clump of deer hair.
You can work the tread under the piece of furry foam that is sticking out on the front/hookeye.

I believe that's the way that in the Craig Matthews video the Turneffe crabs are tied.

I epoxy the bottom side for some extra durability with some white epoxy.

Have fun !

05-18-2006, 12:03 PM
Yes that's the way Craig Matthews ties it in his DVD. Very simply tie.

05-20-2006, 08:14 AM


05-29-2006, 01:26 PM
Whach the epoxy if you deal with spooky permit in shallow water. The sound of the plop will spook them

Geordie Shanks
11-06-2006, 08:59 AM

I tied a bunch of these up and that is indeed exactly how you tie it. I found that a light drop of crazy glue or similar glue on the shank prior to tying in the furry foam helped with securing it better. The first couple spun around me somewhat. Cut the part of the furry foam that will be secured to the shank at a "V" angle to reduce bulk and simplify the process.

Obviously, keep in mind that the hook shank rides up and I think that the dumbell eyes secured to the top of the hook are all the wieght you need. I fished at Turneffe Flats several years ago, which is where Craig Matthews fishes every year. "Pops" was my guide, for which Craig's Pops bonefish bitters pattern is named, and he told me not to even bother using the few patterns I epoxied on the one side. The flats in Belize are generally shallow with spook-easy fish, so I would probably skip the epoxy part, the splash is something to consider in certain situations. In deeper water, the epoxy is probably a good idea. The original pattern also calls for the legs to be tipped in red. I went to a craft store and bought a small bottle of oil-based red paint and just dipped the tips in that and let it dry overnight. Probably doesn't make a difference, but I tend to be pretty anal about my ties. Have fun tying those, and even more fun fishing them.

I have an old thread about tying the bonefish bitters patterns that I got some great feedback about. That is a great pattern. If you are interested in tying some of those and need info about making the blanks, search my old threads and you'll find it. Great pattern. Keep your Belize patterns small. Good luck.