A crabby fly for tarpon, reds & bones [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: A crabby fly for tarpon, reds & bones

Tony Petrella
01-29-2003, 08:46 PM
Hey, guys--let's get some conversation going here!!!

I've got a new crab pattern that you can use for tarpon (4/0 hook), redfish (#4) and bones #6. Obviously, you've gotta vary the hackle size, dubbing amounts, etc. But:

Tie in two long strands of black krystal flash at the bend of the hook for antennae.

Tie in one tannish hen saddle feather on either side of the shank, splayed outward.

Tie in a bit of "flash" between the "claws"--I use a bit of rust or copper, and maybe some pearl k-flash, or gold, or rwinbow, or whatever bits happen to be laying on my tying bench from the last fly.

Tie in longish eyes made of burned mono. Or lead dumb-bells if you want it on the bottom fast (I vary from mono to bead-chain to lead depending upon water depth, bottom grasses, etc--and how fast I want the fly to sink).

Tie in a really webby grey hackle and "wait".

Make a "dubbing loop" and create a "spiky" body (tan, or olive) that's fairly thick.

Wind the webby (schlaapen????) hackle toward the eye of the hook. Leave the very tip of the hackle sticking out over the eye of the fly like a little "tail" and tie off. Trim the hackle top and bottom so the crab has a flat profile.

Have fun, guys!!!


01-29-2003, 10:25 PM
All right! Capt. T.. glad to see someone starting the flow..I am all for it.. I have got some blue crabs I am ready to put on... crab apples but for the Bahamas thanks to some help on color from marshrunner.

Tony Petrella
01-30-2003, 07:13 AM
My partner in my guiding business, John Gospodarek, also developed a pattern he calls Commissioner Johnson (after his brother-in-law).

Gospo's version has red lead eyes (x-small), gold krystal flash, twisted, for the body, and gold k-flash extending about 3-8 to 1/2 inch past the bend of the hook, tied in pretty full. This is, of course, tied Clouser style.

We've caught just about everything with it down here--snook, redfish, trout, ladyfish. I'm even going to tie up a large version of it for tarpon in May,

My slight variation on this is to use gold braided mylar for the body, and I mix in some copper "flash" material between two segments of the gold k-flash "wing." It's also worked very well.

C'mon, guys--give me some creative new patterns that I can use down here in southwest Florida. Fish get tired of seeing the same old stuff!!!!

Tight Loops,

01-30-2003, 08:00 AM
I tie one that is pretty close to what you are doing except I like to float a little...for fishing in thick grass, so I am using a clipped deer hair body. I don't add any weight. It just kind of sits there in the grass. And I add a 50 lb mason loop weed guard. Can't move it too much or it gets hung up anyway. the spartina grass is so thick. But when you get it where it is supposed to be...
I also tie one with a dumbell eye for fishing over sandy flats in Pamlico Sound. Pretty much the same. I am going to try your hackle crab for that, definitely a lot easier to make.

01-30-2003, 09:11 AM
It is under the striper fly archives in a post where I ask about taking photos of flies with digital cameras.
The board won't let me post it here too.

Tony Petrella
01-30-2003, 10:54 AM
Capt. Gordon--Thanks for the info on your tie. I'll check it out for sure! I've been fly fishing for 30 years, and can't believe how many times a pattern that was "killer" suddenly goes "stale". I guess because the fish have seen it so many times. Then a variation on the theme, with a little different look or some different material, kicks Fin again.

But, I guess that's how fly companies like Azteca, Umpqua, etc. all stay in business. Sort of like restaurants, I guess--it's all food, just prepared a little differently.

Anyway--keep the patterns coming, guys! It's FINALLY (thank You Sir!!!!) starting to warm up in southwest Florida and the fish are going to be HUNGRY after their loooooong winter nap. So, I want to dish up a bunch of new "recipes" for them.

Tight Loops,

Dble Haul
01-30-2003, 11:36 AM
Captain Gordon- If you take the image that you've already posted in the other archive and change it slightly (i.e. barely resize it) and save it under another name, you can post it in this archive.

BTW, nice pattern!

01-30-2003, 10:31 PM
Capt. T..If you go back in this forum to the beginning..you will see a series of about 130 bonefish flies I copied from Marshrunner's book on bonefish flies... great practice on tying just about every conceivable permutation of bonefish fly there is..

Tony Petrella
01-31-2003, 07:27 AM
Thanks for that info. I'm always interested in seeing how people tie different patterns. Although we don't have any bonefish here where I live, I do get down to the keys both as a guide and as a "civilian" regularly.

The weather's finally warming up in the Boca Grande/Sarasota area after having temps o cold that it could have snowed!! That means the fishing has turned on again--at least, the trout were eating yesterday. Today? I'll keep you "posted".