Carapace Construction- Crab Apple [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Carapace Construction- Crab Apple

12-08-2002, 10:44 AM
For anyone interested.. I make the carapaces first before I even put the hook in the vice... Here I have made 8. I cut one pattern for each size, then cut the others by using it at a model.. then select my feathers..note they all don't have to be the same from the partridge.. The legs are form Indian Cock #1 varient. I use these because of color and size... Put the epoxy on 4 at a time... place the feathers on, not willy nilly but with a viable pattern mostly the feathers will face toward the mouth with some ends hanging over slightly.... then when done flip them over after the epoxy sets and put the legs on with epoxy..size the legs to the crab . There is not magic formula... but note that no two are alike. I do not want to have exact copies of each..I want them ALL different. The next step is the rest of the fly..but I will also bar od dot the carapace with a brown magic marker to fill in the foam showing though..somewhat... also these are done on tan foam and the others are on Brown foam.

Dble Haul
12-08-2002, 11:08 AM
Thanks, John. That clears the process up quite a bit. :)

12-08-2002, 11:08 AM
I took my dog for a walk this morning and I am staring know , and I start to pick up some Fall leaves... all colors of brown, red, tan... etc..... HHHHmmmm. Nice!... maybe a more good texture, ridges... you know...I will try a carapce with fall leaf frangments....

12-08-2002, 11:21 AM

Your enthusiasm and creativity continue to amaze me ( I guess that since there is no fishing right now the energy needs to go somewhere). However, as Sandi looked over my shoulder at this last post, her comment was "that is a really bad case of crabs".

Keep up the good work. Even though I will not be back your way anytime real soon the great memories of last summer are constantly brought fresh to mind by lurking at your endless creations! Cheers.

12-08-2002, 11:28 AM
Yes.It is abad case..she is right...the fishing is over, the cape house is this is the next best thing. When you look around and at flies, sometimes I think that there is no better imitation of nature than nature. So, that's what I think one can capture the true colors and shapes...but again...the big question is would a leaf carapace work... I think it would..just as most patterns do ..with the righ appearance ,then the motion and cicumstances come into play..but in winter..all I can do is work on appearance... Since that last post, I gathered a bunch of leaves in 5 wife is going bonkers and my kids just stare. As I look at them mind is racing.

12-08-2002, 11:49 AM
John, plenty of leaves in my yard. I didn't get a chance to rake this year:hehe:

Keep up the good work on the crabs. I may give those a shot next year, just completed my first clouser:o

12-08-2002, 12:13 PM
Just a few monments ago here at my sons..."John.....JImmy.....If you guys want to use my car today you need to go out and get me every different color leaf you can find...start at the oak tree ,move to the mapples...don't forget the scrub trees "... This is the fisrt experiment...plain light brown..the reds look great....greenish ting also...I am on a roll..

12-08-2002, 01:33 PM
Here is agreen crab... the front is cut in v's and supported by the epoxy on the surface. There is no surface epoxy on top of the carapace yet.

12-08-2002, 02:21 PM
I must have missed a thread on this crab fly oydessey, what is the carapace?

Must be the foam on which you place the feathers. The foam is marked up with a colored marker and epoxy to get the color into it.

These must sink slowly which I suspect is OK for low water striper flats fishing. Wonder how it would cast into the wind ?

12-08-2002, 05:37 PM
Johnny Scissorhanz
I hope you are planning on doing a few of these beauties at the show...
I'll be looking over your shoulder taking notes!:eyecrazy:

12-08-2002, 05:43 PM
Pine needles for legs next!:hehe:

12-08-2002, 08:59 PM
Hal, the carapace is the Body..hope I have the spelling problem casting these..they are really not that heavy...consider a big clouser with Dumbell and large hook AND epoxy head...These are not a casting issue at all even with an 8 wt. I will use an intermediate line with them..but If I use a depth charge it's not and issue either. They will sink rather quickly...which I want. Hope to do that at the show Pete, and John, I thought of epoxy overed craggly crab legs but got a hold of myself... I kept saying It's a fly not a work of art from a P-town art gallery

12-09-2002, 03:52 PM

Here are two more good books (besides the Kaplan guide) for crab photos. Seashore Animals of the Southeast by Rupert and Fox and Reef Creature Identification, Florida, Caribbean, and Bahamas by Paul Humann


12-09-2002, 04:30 PM
Thanks Dick..that's perfect.. I have been looking at the Audobon Guides on "SeaShore Creatures" and checking all the crabs and there locals... the real issue is to determin if the young ones are the same color as the bigger ones.. But those books sound perfect.

12-10-2002, 08:29 AM
The Blue crab which is one of the most common inshore species both in the Keys/Bahamas and the Northeast differs in color from juvenile to adult growing from light monocolor turquoise to darker blue green with blue (and sometimes white/yellow or red) highlights. Many of the mudcrabs which grow in the mangroves are basically brown/tan throughout their lifecycle but also can take on shades of muted color in their local habitat. Mud crabs also have a distinctly different body and leg shape. While blues have oblong pointed carapaces and pronounced killing claws with secondary paddle shaped swimming legs, mud crabs often look more like spiders with rounded bodies and more uniform walking legs.


12-10-2002, 09:00 AM
Yes...from what I can tell the blue will be the most difficult... the green crab also has a distinctively different carapace. Thanks for that my note book it goes....