Pete's The Right Angle Crayfish - Step By Step Fly Tying Tutorial
Tied, Written, & Photographed by Pete Rosenau (@blueriverflies)
90 Degree Shank Version
The 90 degree shank from Spawn Fly Fish makes tying an articulated crayfish simple and effective. For this fly I’ve attached the hook directly to the shank. The weight on the shank is dependent upon the depth you’re seeking. Hope you enjoy tying this crayfish!
Spawn Twitch Shank Version
If you’re fishing conventional gear or ice fishing or heavy fly gear try using the 1/8 Oz Twitch Shank to finish the Right Angle Cray. Different weights are available to get your crayfish down as fast as you please. Saves the time of tying on a dumbbell and moves this fly like CRAY-zy.
All Materials Used:
Body and Tail: Hareline Crosscut Rabbit Strips - Crawfish Orange
Head Cement: Loon Hard Head - Clear
Fly Tying Step By Step Tutorial:
To create some separation of materials away from the hook we’ll start by veiling two clumps of Canadian Orange Simi Seal. Use slightly larger clumps than you think you need. This is the foundation of the profile we’re trying to achieve.
Veil a clump of Simi Seal on both the top and bottom of the hook just past the hook barb. Make sure your thread wraps are secure and add a little head cement. Keep in mind there are a lot of steps and time involved with big flies. Secure with cement any chance you get to prolong the life of your fly.
For the flash I cut 4 strands of Copper Krystal Flash. Cut those in half and then veil the 8 strands on top of the shank which is the bottom since we’re tying this hook point up. Once your other materials are tied in you may wish to trim, but for now the flash should be fine after you split it to either side of the hook.
Now we’re ready for the bucktail to replicate the crayfish head and hint of shell. You can see next to the bodkin it is a substantial clump of hair. Roughly two pencil thicknesses should suffice.
Bucktail tied in at roughly the same length as the hook and separate shank combined. Keep the bucktail on top of the hook and evenly splayed on both sides of the hook. Add a thin layer of cement to really lock down that bucktail.
Now for the eyes. Use the natural bend of the mono stem when tying in eyes. We want the curve to bring the eyes forward and slightly leaning away from the hook. After tying in both sides trim your mono and wrap down securely followed by another thin layer of cement.
One way I like to control eye stems of the like is to use a small amount of dubbing. Here I’ve loaded a 3-4 inch noodle with the Canadian Orange Simi Seal. That gives me enough to figure 8 twice between the mono eye stems along with securing wraps after each. This solidifies your eye positions as well as adds volume once we brush it out in a later step.
After tying in the Simi Seal you can see how we’ve now created a space to keep our rabbit strip claws away from not only the eyes but also the hook point.
Wrap in a micro rabbit strip on both sides. The fur should be flowing away from the body. Start with each strip slightly longer than the hook and shank combined. You can trim after completing the fly if needed. Using the dubbing bump we made in the last step tie down the micro strips to cover the dubbing.
And once again make a dubbing noodle and go between the fly body and each rabbit claw two times.
Now is the time to brush out all the Simi Seal we’ve been layering between materials. This not only adds attractive flash but also creates the illusion of volume and profile.
Before you tie in your crosscut rabbit strip make sure the fur is pointing to the left with the leather looking at you. Remove any loose hairs and clean a 1/4 inch tie in area on your rabbit strip. Here I’ve marked with a dot the beginning of the hair in the leather. As you can see once I’ve tied in the rabbit it will match up perfectly abutted to the previous materials.
Wrap you rabbit strip back in touching wraps to the hook eye. Make a clean tie off and 2-3 whip finishes. Coat with cement. Always be sure to comb out your rabbit after the cement has dried completely.
Step 14 - (90 Degree Shank Version)
Slip the hook onto the shank so both the hook point and the shank eye are pointing upward. Securely tie down the open shank and add large dumbbell eyes to the underside of the shank. After cementing and drying, tie in another crosscut rabbit strip and wrap just as you did the body.
Step 14 - (Twitch Shank Version)
Same application if you’re using the 1/8 Oz Twitch Shank. Secure with thread and cement. Wrap shank with crosscut rabbit strip. Trim and cement after 2-3 whip finishes.
After wrapping the 90 Degree Shank version!
After wrapping the Twitch Shank Version!
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