Small crab for tailing fish - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 05-13-2005, 05:30 AM
josko josko is offline
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Small crab for tailing fish

I'm looking for a small crab fly (pattern) to cast to tailing bonefish. I'd like it about dime size, size 8 hook, very light and sparse, but with prominent legs and round body.
For those who know the area, I'd use it in White Bight, Andros.
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Old 05-13-2005, 01:48 PM
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Rick J Rick J is offline
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When I fished the Canun area a couple of years ago the guide had a dynamite pattern that was tied on a number 8 hook. Legs and mono eyes were tied on the shank and a small piece of felt was glued on then one side coated with epoxy - no weight. You could cast these right on the head of the permit and not spook them - they just slammed this fly. I know I have seen pretty small patterns tied with yarn and light lead eyes that have legs - got a bunch from a good friend of mine, Bill Kiene ,who has a shop in Sacramento.
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Old 05-14-2005, 07:20 AM
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Hi Josko

Tie up a couple of these - it's one of the best tailing crab patterns out there. The body is dubbed or wound fuzzy wool palmered with a soft webby hackle. Tail and wing are marabou or any mobile material (arctic fox etc.). Vary the colors to suit local crab pattern colors - e.g. tan with purple/blue wing.

I tied one of these for Juro's Acklins trip with tan wing and orange marabou tail.

His reports were very favorable

There is no weight and you need to soak the fly well before casting otherwise it will float but the great thing is it lands on the water like thistledown!

With a bulky wing it should ride hook-point up. It seems to work best when allowed to "drift" down-current (or down-wind) into tailing fish.


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Old 05-15-2005, 07:10 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Josko,

I've fished small felt crab patterns I bought down in Islamorada. Essentially they are small eyes on a hook with rubber legs tied madamX style and a small grizzly hackle 'claw', then a pad of felt is glued on (top in tan).

My experience has been that when fish are tailing in skinny water they are actively feeding and stealth is the biggest factor to success. As of this writing I've only done 10 bonefish trips but it seems any decent fly placed correctly without detection gets eaten.

Your question gets me all fired up - I love pursuit of tailing bonefish like few things in fishing. I've literally have laid on my stomach on marl mounds to get my profile down and cast more tenderly than in any spring creek to place a weightless fly (like the one Adrian gave me) in their lane of advancement with great success when the presentation is right.

As the light fades on the flat, I found light colored flies less effective and a dark colored fly (with more contrast at least) fared much better so it pays to have more than one.

I can't wait to see silver tails waving in the low angle light again!
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:24 PM
Limpe Limpe is offline
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small dime size crab

Josko,
Maybe not the thing you are looking for but i thougt i'd post it anyway, you'll might get some ideas..





Tied on a Tiemco 811S size 8 hook.
Legs are made of flexi-floss (of course i couldn't find the right coulour)
Eyes are burned mono, some white sparkle flash for the mouthpiece
Body is made of a material they refer to as furry foam, but without the foam back
I used some coloured epoxy to hold it all together, you could of course glue another patch of this furry stuff together.

I used some epoxy otherwise the crab could float hookpoint down..still real easy to let the crab land softly on the surface.

You can also use some wool to make the body, just like the merkin-carb.
Or...one of my favorite patterns....the velcro crab , bring some markers and find the right colour for your crab...



hopefully usefull in some way.
greetings.
Limpe

Last edited by Limpe; 05-15-2005 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:25 AM
josko josko is offline
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Yeah, I think the fly above roughly what I wish I had.

Juro, White Bight is right near Cargill creek, which has 3 large lodges (2 of them may have merged reently) and puts out some 40-50 skiffs on a good day. So the fish are jumpy as heck, especially now since the guides are told to go easy on fuel and can't be talked into running any diustance from the lodges.

I had some #8 tailing flies and was managing to lay 70+' casts well ahead of fish schools. Thay'd come on it, one or two would swing in to check it out, and then the whole school would spook like you threw a rock at them. My guide had a light tan #8 Bonecrusher that took one fish, and that was it.

With the lodges near-full, any fish near north bight were as jumpy as anything I've seen near the peak of the bnonefishing boom in the later 90's. A great challenge if you're a good caster and don't mind very technical fishing, but it was a disappointment to most of the lodge sports I talked to.
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Old 12-30-2005, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian

I tied one of these for Juro's Acklins trip with tan wing and orange marabou tail.

His reports were very favorable
This fly changed my perspective while in a heron-like position within tailing hordes from 'splash and spook' to making a soft offering and slow sink rate that let me ease the temptress into the nosing path of several consecutive hookups, a memorable evening for sure with silver tails waving 360 degrees around me and for as far as the eye could see >sigh<
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Old 12-31-2005, 07:01 AM
josko josko is offline
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I'm convinced that fish are learning to avoid the popular patterns. Any doubters can easily confirm that the effectiveness of Gotcha's on Andros is inversely proportional to distance from Cargill Creek, where angler density on the island is highest.
And there's definitely somethhing to be said for throwing a big, flashy patterns to fish that are refuising waifs.
Back to the original thread, I'm still looking for a small lifelike crab fly. Velcro crabs turned out to be a disappointment wrt their lack of action. I managed to tie up some #6 merkins and bitters for my next trip, but I'm all ears for other suggestions.
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Old 12-31-2005, 07:14 AM
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Josko -

Did you happen to see Adrian's mesh body crabs? I witnessed their effectiveness on South Monomoy (from a distance) last year and he posted them a short while ago.
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