Irish Crayfish- by Frank G. Swarner III

featured, Fly Patterns, Step-by-Step Tutorials — By on September 13, 2011 8:45 pm

A few years ago I was looking at Irish Shrimp flies in various books and thought that they would be good for Steelhead in New York……..and they were!! I also do well with crayfish style flies, so I tried to combine the two for a fairly simple and effective pattern. Hence the name Irish Crayfish. – I few years ago I was looking at Irish Shrimp flies in various books and thought that they would be good for Steelhead in New York……..and they were!! I also do well with crayfish style flies, so I tried to combine the two for a fairly simple and effective pattern. Hence the name Irish Crayfish. – Frank G. Swarner III

Hook: Alec Jackson size 1.5
Tip: Oval Tinsel – medium – Silver
Rear Collar: Coq de leon feather from a tailing pack (dark or medium pardo), Pheasant Rump feather (black)
Body: UV Ice dubbing gray
Mid Collar: Coq de leon feather from a tailing pack (dark or medium pardo), Pheasant Rump feather (black)
Body: UV Ice dubbing gray
Front Collar: Coq de leon feather from a tailing pack (dark or medium pardo), Pheasant Rump feather (black)
Wing 2: Pheasant body or breast feathers

Step 1: Insert the hook into the vice and make sure the shank is parallel to the table top. Attach your thread at the front and work your way back to a spot on the hook shank above the hook point.

Step 2: Attach fine oval silver tinsel on the far side of the hook shank and wrap it 3-4 times to create a tip/butt.

Step 3: Critical for proportions. Select 3 Coq de leon hackles and 3 pheasant rump hackles. There should be one small, one medium, and one large feather of each type. Select the large Coq de leon feather and tie it in by the tip right in front of the tip/butt. Wrap it around the hook shank 3-5 times leaving a slight space in between each wrap. Tie off the feather, trim the butt end, then wrap the thread back over the stem and fibers until the thread is again just in front of the tip/butt. Select the large pheasant rump hackle and repeat the process.

Step 4: Spin some ice dubbing onto you thread and wrap it forward. Stop at the midpoint of the hook or slightly shorter. Perhaps 1/3, 2/3 will work for you. Think about what you are trying to make the fly look like and check out pictures of crayfish and make note of their proportions.

Step 5: Repeat step #3, but instead use the medium sized feathers.


Step 6: Repeat step #4 and stop short of the eye of the hook to leave room for more hackle and the “wing.”

Step 7: Repeat step #3, but instead use the small sized feathers.

Step 8: Trim the front and middle hackles on the top of the hook shank so the wing will lay flat over the body.

Step 9: Select two feathers from Ringneck skin dyed black. I like to pick them from the sides, just in front of the wings. Stagger the tips so one is longer than the other than strip off all the flioplume so you are only tying the stems to the shank. Insert the tips of the stems through the eye of the hook and mount the wing flat on top. When you have it seated how you like, fold the stems underneath the shank and tie them off on the bottom. Trim the excess and finish with head cement.

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Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)

1 Comment

  1. Desi Welch says:

    This is just a variation of the “General Practioner” a well know Scottish Salmon Fly.
    .This can be tied in many colours as well as the predominately orange of the true GP.
    One colour which if the fish are “DOUR” or have been in a pool a wee while is to tie it in “PURPLE with “Black “Legs (hackle brought under)
    Tight lines Desi Welch AKA Scotties Flies.

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

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