Ultimate crayfish pattern?

Brad Niemeyer

Old School Member
My latest attempt at the ultimate crayfish pattern. Here's the goal:

A fly that moves like a crayfish
A fly that looks like a crayfish
A fly that is fairly quick to tie

Its weighted to ride hook point up, so the tail dives when the line goes slack. This is the "year of the crayfish" for me, I've fished crayfish patterns all year long with good results

Hook: size 2 down eye 6 xlong streamer
antennae: peacock herl strands
Mouth and forelegs: Green bucktail and orange marabou
Legs: Green Saddle hackle
Shellback: Ultrasuade colored with permanent marker (make template out of #100 card stock 3.25 inches long)
Body: Lead covered with orange trilobal chenille. bead chain near eye for the dive effect

This one takes about ten minutes, less if I find a way to cut two or three shellbacks at a time ( ultrasuade). Tie a woolly bugger with a bucktail tail. stop the hackle about halfway down the body. add bead chain eyes, whip finish. Flip over in the vise, Trim top of hacke, Then add shellback over the bugger body securing the first segment with tying thread (ten turns) and then moving down the body toward the eye of the hook. whip finish again.

I know this color combination works well for western WA bass, I will be testing it out on yakima trout next weekend ;)



Sculpin Enterprises
Very nice. Thank you for the detailed instructions. Its especially nice that the hook rides up. I wonder in one could make it relatively snag-free by adding a wire weed guard.


Brad Niemeyer

Old School Member
Size 8? Can you convert that to inches? This pattern is 3.25 inches which is about as large as I can comfortably throw with my 6 weight sage. The streamer hook is 6x long so its a bit hard to set the fly size by the hook size.

I understand that smaller crayfish are like cocktail shrimp to smallies. From stomach pumping I know that medium sized trout will eat rather large crayfish. I have also heard that light colored crayfish that have just molted are greatly favored by many game fish.

When fish see crayfish they eat them, its a kneejerk kind of reaction!:ray1:


Mark Steudel
When I go out to Pennsylvania in the summer, the lake I fish on has a great population of small mouth and pickerel (think pike). We occasionally keep a fish here and there and when I do keep fish I always like to check out the stomach. We kept one pickerel and I was suprised to see that it was CHOCK full of crawfish. The lake has a HUGE population of small fish, minnows, shad, etc. I guess catching crawfish is easier than catching small minnows. :)

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