I am new to tying and have found that in a few short months it has become an obsession
Now I am faced with the near daily dilemma of having a fly I want to tie and not having the material I want:( Of course this means another trip to the local shop. I have recently though come up against not having a good material for making Crane Fly wings. I am looking for suggestions on what I could use. I don't like how the clear plastic wing material looks or acts, and have tried web-wing material with better but unsatisfactory sucess.
Any suggestions?
the thin white strips of packing foam. it isn't very durable, infact it falls apart after like 3 fish. but i have used it on caddis patterns and it works very well. i wish i could find something that looked as good and was more durable. try it tho


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Tiers from Great Britain and Ireland have created a wide variety of patterns to imitate the crane fly. They are usually referred to as Daddy Long Legs or just "Daddies". All the ones I've seen use hackle tips for wings.

Jeff Dodd

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The pattern I learned calls for bleached coastal deer hair.

The pattern uses embroidery thread for the body and then this same material splits the deer hair you tie in to create the wings.

This is Gordon Swanson's crane fly pattern



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I'll second, third or fourth the vote for hackle tip wings for the crane fly pattern. My question is what type of body and legs are you using?
Sorry for the response delay, have been unable to log on latley. Calvin1, to answer your question I have tried both a thread body, and a lightly dubbed body with fair results on both. Use and extended body jig and wrap over a few strands of plastic fibers like paint brush fibers with a touch of glue on the thread to start to keep it where I want. Results have been fair so far except for the wings, Legs have been pheasant tail fibers knotted on one bent with heat on another.
I have found just a small piece of clear/rainbow raffia that makes the best wings so far.

Thanks for your responses.


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I've planned for years to sit down and try to come up with a cranefly pattern and this thread finally got me moving. My old pal Dan Lemaich always favored a cranefly as a dry pattern for sea-run cutthroat in the rivers in the fall but I never bothered to ask him about his pattern. The pattern I came up with relies a bit more heavily on synthetics than I would like but I wanted something that looked pretty accurate. The abdomen is built with 3/0 thread wrapped on a mandrel (a needle in this case) and coated with Softex (the same technique I use for my extended-body Baetis pattern) and the legs are knotted paintbrush bristles. It's a bit time consuming but I quite like the results.

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