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crab flies

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What are your favorite crab flies.   As far as keeping the crab on the bottom, whats the best way?   The other day I was trying to use different body materials.  I was using a 3M pad for the body and was also thinking about using a store bought weighted hook to keep the point up.  The ones they use for soft baits.  I thought the green 3M pad would look like a green crab.  The red 3M pad would work also?  

Have you any good new ideas for them.   I have to try them out.  

Do you think the crab legs really work and whats the best color.  

 

 

Edited by ccb

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I have been taking pictures of small calico crabs I find in the wash. I'm trying to tie a crab fly that looks just like the real thing.  I started using a chair leg coaster/pad cut to the right size. , It is a better color than the commercially sold crab bodies. It is  still a work in progress as my tying skills develop!

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I found a you tube video and tied these.  EP crab is the body.  Not too hard.  I like the idea of the chair coasters.  I have some of those.  Would love to catch a bass on a crab fly

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On 7/3/2018 at 8:58 AM, yarddog59 said:

I have been taking pictures of small calico crabs I find in the wash. I'm trying to tie a crab fly that looks just like the real thing.  I started using a chair leg coaster/pad cut to the right size. , It is a better color than the commercially sold crab bodies. It is  still a work in progress as my tying skills develop!

if you're throwin in the surf it doesn't need the detail like for the flats,general color/shape will do

stripes feed right in the wash scroungin calicos,mole crabs and whatever else they can find,don't need to cast far,esp if there's any surf

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On 7/3/2018 at 8:41 AM, ccb said:

What are your favorite crab flies.   As far as keeping the crab on the bottom, whats the best way?   The other day I was trying to use different body materials.  I was using a 3M pad for the body and was also thinking about using a store bought weighted hook to keep the point up.  The ones they use for soft baits.  I thought the green 3M pad would look like a green crab.  The red 3M pad would work also?  

Have you any good new ideas for them.   I have to try them out.  

Do you think the crab legs really work and whats the best color.  

 

 

Bob,

 

Not sure these are my favorite as they are my first attempt at crabs, tied with the intention of trying to fish them on the Barnstable flats this spring but I never made it there and they stayed in my box.   Not overly happy with the tie but seeing they're my first attempts I guess they'll do.      3 of them are on 1/0 and the last one in much larger tied on a 3/0.     Haven't tried casting them and suspect the 3/0 will take a little adjustment to my stroke.

 

HT

 

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Re: Keeping the hook point up.  I've just about quit wrapping the hook shank with solder.  When wrapping, you often add more weight than you need to keep the point up.  My first step in tying an inverted fly these days is to tie a length of wire the entire length of the hook--underneath the hook.  Leave extra lead out the back of the wraps.  Tie the fly as usual then bend the lead/solder wire forward and secure with the head wraps.  This really lowers the COG.  Another help is to tie a little buoyant material on the "up" side of the fly.  When all else fails, use a paper hole punch to cut disks from craft foam.  Side one or two in the hook shank just behind the point.  I sometimes do this on the water.  I can punch out a hundred of these little disks in less than 5 minutes.  

Keep in mind that wind resistant flies seldom cast well.

Edited by captkenroy
addition

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Basic yarn crabs ( Merkin style) with a rabbit strip on top, and with a tuft of deerhair. The rabbit strip adds a fatter profile and some good movement when it's sitting still, especially if there's even the slightest bit of current. The rabbit will make it a bit heavy once wet. The deer hair also adds to the profile, without adding a lot of bulk, and also will move a bit, just not as much as the rabbit. 

 

These are for flats type fishing, not real good for strong currents. Size 4 to 1/0 hooks. 

 

 

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Edited by tidewaterfly

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Last year I started fishing crab flies at night.  When I started I was using olive merkins on size 1 hooks.  I went through a lot of different flies I purchased and different presentations (swinging with sinking line, Czech nymphing weighted fly, and suspending weighted fly under a float were all different presentations tried with limited success) before I finally settled on making my own fly unweighted that was the size of the largest green crabs I was catching.  These crabs measured 4" wide tip to tip, 2.5-3" front to back, and about half an inch deep.  They were soft from molting and I noticed when I threw them into ripping current with my headlamp on they tumbled and appeared to be poor swimmers.    So this fly is designed to be fished below a glow in dark indicator with a traditional nymphing setup of split shot on end of leader and 18-24" of tippet from shot to the unweighted fly.  Goal is to keep it tumbling along near bottom and watch indicator for strikes.  It took about 6 different dedicated night crabbing sessions to come to the current system and fly.  This season I will be fishing this fly and technique a lot more and I will continue to refine the approach.  I am specifically fishing inlets or salt marsh rip currents around the moons which seems to be when I am finding molting crab activity.  The fly is on an owner 7/0 jig hook and uses EP fibers for end structure and 1" EZ body braid to create base crab body.  The shell is kiley's exo skin as well as the claws.  small EZ body braid in peacock color is the claw arms.  The reason for the large hook is two-fold: I wanted the long shank for fly construction and secondly, I hooked some surprisingly large fish that in the 3kts current ended up bending out the hooks on the permit flies I started with before I made my own fly on a 4/0 jig hook.  the largest fish landed was 34 inches long on the sturdier hook.  This technique and fly still require a lot more time on the water but figured its at a point where it is worth sharing on this thread.  I would also think fishing crabs under a normal indicator at inlets in daylight would be effective too, but I don't fish during the day so its pure speculation as I have not tested it in daylight at all.

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This picture shows fly versus natural and the large glow in dark thingambobbers I started using towards the end of last year.  The natural pictured is a medium sized green crab and measured 2.75" wide I did not get a good picture of the larger crabs but will take one this season when I catch them in shallows.  I found that the indicators are best charged with a cheap UV pet urine flashlight.  It charges faster and brighter than white light but does not cause you to lose your night vision.  

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Edited by The Graveyard Shift

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