Jump to content
Fly Tying
Sign in to follow this  
Frank G. Swarner III

HP Crayfish - Tube Fly

Recommended Posts

Tube Fly Crayfish


This is a fly that I had tied for a trip to the Salmon River, NY which was the week after Turkey Day. It produced the most fish for me and the takes were solid to say the least. The Brownies and the Steelies literally tore it up. The carapace feathers and one claw were ripped off and it still produced the last day we fished.

It is a nice "change up" fly to get away from the hot colors , eggs, and the flashy patterns the fish see day in day out.

I think this fly will be good for other species such as Smallmouth Bass. I also think it can be used in saltwater (striped bass) to represent a mantis shrimp or possibly a crab.


Tube: 1 1/4" long tube - diameter of 1/8" or smaller

Hook: Blackbird Sabretooth - size 4

Thread: 8/0 black

Antennae: GP tail fibers and Peacock Sword fibers

Ribbing: Small gold or copper wire

First body: Brown dubbing

Antennae/Feelers: Whiting Bird Fur - Coachman Brown

Claws: Hen Pheasant feathers

Mid-body joint: Peacock sword or Peacock herl

Hackle: Hen Pheasant marabou

Ribbing: Small Gold or Copper wire

Second Body: Tan Dubbing

Carapace: 2 Hen Pheasant feathers


Step 1: Attach the thread to the tube and wrap back to the junction tubing, apply some super glue to the thread wraps.


Step 2: For the antennae, strip off about 5-8 fibers from a Golden Pheasant tail. Tie them on top of the tube wraight at the junction tubing.


Step 3: Strip of about 4-6 fibers from a Peacock Sword and tie them on top of the GP tail fibers.


Step 4: Snip of a 3"-4" piece of small gold wire and attach it to the far side of the tube.


Step 5: Spin some brown dubbing onto your thread and wrap the first body segment. Stop just shy of the midpoint.


Step 6: Rib the body with the small gold wire. Tie off and trim excess.


Step 7: For the claws and feelers pick out 2 small to medium sized feathers from a Whiting Bird Fur neck. Don't strip off any fibers from the stem and tie them onto the sides of the tube. The fluffier filoplume should extend to the tip of the Peacock Sword but not any further.


Step 8: Select two, nicely mottled, Hen Pheasant feathers and tie them onto the sides of the tube right where the bird fur is tied. These will be the claws and they should extend just past the Peacock Sword fibers. Tie everything on good and tight, then trim the excess.


Step 9: Select a few fibers from a Peacock Sword or use a few Peacock herls instead. Tie them in at the mid-body point and wrap them to make a small joint between body sections. Tie off and trim excess.


Step 10: Select a fluffy marabou like feather from a Hen Pheasant. The stem should be long enough to make 3-4 turns. Strip off the fibers on the lower half and tie the feather in by the butt.


Step 11: Snip of a 3"-4" piece of small gold wire and attach it to the far side of the tube.


Step 12: Spin some tan dubbing onto your thread and wrap the second body.


Step 13: Rib the second body with 3-4 turns of gold wire. Tie off and trim excess.


Step 14: Wrap the Hen Pheasant marabou feather forward, keeping each turn on the rear edge of the wire. Tie off and trim excess.


Step 15: Trim off the hackles on top of the tube where the carapace will be located.


Step 16: Select 2 Hen pheasant feathers for the carapace. One should be lightly colored and mottled, the other should be dark and mottled. Strip off the fibers from the base of the stem so the lightly colored feather extends to the base of the antennae. The darker feather should be slightly shorter.


Step 17: Hold the feathers one on top of the other and tie them in at the same time, on top of the hook shank. It may be necesary to flatten the stem with pliers. Trim off excess and finish the head.


Step 18: Melt the tip of the tube with a lighter to finish the fly and apply head cement to the thread.















Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...