Got Crabs!

I have recently continued playing around with Sea Dragon dubbing with a view to creating a crab pattern or two. The reason I say two is that I wanted one that gave the illusion of a crab swimming away from a predator (the fish) and a different version, which I will do in a separate post, will be one that imitates a crab defending itself.

The nature of the dubbing is just right for creating this kind of fly because of the flexi leg material within the mix. Although this is right for smaller flies (left fly), larger flies (on the right in the picture) require the addition of legs. The colour should match the natural, not just the legs but the dubbing mix and the hot glue.

P1000087The fly one the right was the prototype, the only changes that will happen with flies of this size will be the addition of eyes. The eyes are made using 20ld clear mono and a small amount of black hot glue. Care is needed to get the right shape and size of the eye. The shell itself needs to be built up in stages as the glue will run if you put to much on at the same and time causing the shell to be uneven and misshaped.


The following materials, as I normally try and do, are listed in order of being applied to the hook.

Hook- Saltwater #9255ss size to match natural

Thread- clear mono

Legs- Flexi legs in colour to match the natural crab.

Eyes- see note above

Body- Sea Dragon dubbing to match the natural, in this case, tan. Once applied, tie off.

Back shell- Hot glue, in this case tan was used but also possible to use purple, green, olive and blue. Applied in stages to get best results.

A note on the hotglue- I use the larger sticks in the large glue guns as these give far better results than the craft guns which have a lower heat. With the backs, if you want a clear back then dip in water straight after applying but I don’t with crabs as I want a more solid colour.



Evolution of the Tube Baitfish

In a previous post on tying tube flies I showed a baitfish pattern tied on sparkle tubes. One of my first thoughts when I finished the fly was that there was not enough flash. I emailed the pattern as ‘Fly of the week’ to the VFB email list and I received the same comment from a good friend DonO.

The first comment was that it did,in deed need some more flash. So, with my thought and his, this new version of the fly resulted.

New flasher baitfishThis is basically the same materials as before but I have added more flash at various stages of tying so that the flash isn’t in one layer but several.

From this, I had the idea of using Awesome hair, DonO also suggested this but I was reluctant to use it as I am getting short of this material and the supplier is sadly no more.

aweson hairbaitI have also changed the head on these flies by not using epoxy. In stead, I have used pearl fabric paint with glitter with a layer of clear nail polish over. Is it me or as fabric paint disappear from craft shop? I haven’t seen it in the my usual stores.


Two New PMD flymphs for 2013

My recently rekindled interest in flymphs and soft hackles wet flies has brought much satisfaction at the bench with the occasional fly coming off that meets I needs of flies with movement. I am a great believer in movement and think that a lot of flies these days are far to stiff in appearance in the water. Thus, these flymphs/wet flies meet my needs where I can use them (not chalkstreams where the rules prevent from their use). I have been known to grease these flies up on occasion and fished like dries and this does work….very well!

Recently I tied a set of flies for a swap, PMD themed. I had one idea, then during the tying of that one another idea came. This does of course mean that the other swappers get two set but I really don’t care because I had fun tying these.

PMD no.1


This was the first idea, loosely based on standard patterns and the natural I was a bit unsatisfied with the body colour for one reason. The flies I was looking for the darker PMD were of the same colour as the top of the body, but unless I am mistaken, trout/grayling mostly see the fly from underneath so the colour for this one is roughly that of the underbody.

Hook- 16-18 straight eye or down eye of your choice

Thread- Uni 8/0 Tan

Body- Tan tying thread ribbed with gold wire

Thorax- Fur from centre of Hares Mask

Hackle- Small brownish hackle from English Partridge neck.

PMD no.2


This one was the following experiment, I also wanted a version with the more orange body and dubbed as well. The segmentation of the body is achieved by rope dubbing the material instead of standard dubbing methods.

Hook- same as No.1

Thread- same as No.1

Body- Rope dubbed Bull Frawg Dubbing in PMD orange

Thorax- same as No.1

Hackle- Small grey partridge from the lower neck of the English Partridge.