Jump to content

Spring Crab Fly - Cape Cod

Rate this topic


HillTop

Recommended Posts

Thinking about some of the guys this last spring that had decen't results with Crab flies at the Cape.    The flies they tied appeared to be mostly Del's Merkin Crab Flies.    This year I'll need to make some for myself but also interesting what you recommend other then the Merkin Crab that has worked well for you, and also what sizes  (saw and old BoneFishDick who used 1/0's and 2/0's, up to 1" diameter).

 

Also saw this video and wondering if anyone has used crabs like this design and what it looks like at the Cape?

 

HT

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently have aphasia.    Aphasia is a result of my head stroke causing a bleed.   Happened in my Maine vacation in July (2021).   Lucky me less than 1% of people get stroke aphasia.  :(      I'm making project but have been told this is easily 5 months to 1 year for this to improve.   Until then hope you don't mind making sense with what I text.   HT

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chuck,

 

In my experience, far too many crustacean flies are designed with anatomical accuracy in mind, rather than the actual bite triggers needed to catch fish. You can expect to do very well with impressionistic crab patterns. I would be more concerned with size, color, and profile rather than eyes and legs and claws. If I get a chance I'll post some photos.

 

Steve Culton

"We fish for pleasure; I for Mine, you for yours."
-- James Leisenring
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve is spot on - go for impressionistic not realistic.

#1 priority is it has to fish/swim properly - sink, not spin or flip in current, inherent movement when static etc. Soft materials all the way for me.

Edited by JRT
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you !

 

To me, as a novice, it seems that in particular Crab flies and Shrimp flies,  more than any other styles of flies,  seems be either signifcantly more "impressionist" flies versus fly detailed with legs, claws, eyes, etc, etc.

 

It seems that the Cape Cod guys I fish with are more in the line of Merkin flies, probably as it's what they typically have used in the past and it works.   They actually did very well with what they were using for crabs, (Merkins or similar).   On the other hand when I was with Steve (and Mike O) I've seen your impressionist shrimp that I wouldn't consider to be a shrimp at all but you did very, very well.

 

So I'm finding it interesting, if all things where being close to the same flies of sizes, colors,  profile, etc ,  have you ever tied two or more flies ie:  point fly add a second, or maybe even third fly (droppers),  what have both typically been 1) Merkin flies and also 2) impressionist flies, (side by each as they say in Wooksocket),   and noticed, if anything, how either works out?   Do you typically find a signifcant difference of one style or another ?  Overall I would think that impressionist flies may be much easier and quicker to tie,  but not having done either maybe I'm wet behind the ears.

 

Thanks,

HT

 

 

Edited by HillTop

Currently have aphasia.    Aphasia is a result of my head stroke causing a bleed.   Happened in my Maine vacation in July (2021).   Lucky me less than 1% of people get stroke aphasia.  :(      I'm making project but have been told this is easily 5 months to 1 year for this to improve.   Until then hope you don't mind making sense with what I text.   HT

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have fished the vineyard in june for more than 25 years in a row and it has always been a pretty consistent night bite with little sandeels on the vineyard sound side. Not long after daybreak the bite dies.  The last couple times I was there in 2018 and 2019 we got a house on the beach on the sound so I would prospect during the day with what is essentially a chubby wooly bugger with a marabou tail, large estaz body and rubber legs, I do these in root beer and like a dark wine color. 

I have caught really well on these. 

I will making my way back there this year to see if they still work. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too am new to fishing/tying crab flies. There really seems to be more info on fishing crab patterns for permit.  lots of interesting notes on presentation if you google it.

 

I bought one crab fly that I was able to convert fish on and it was a merkin simply tied with a rabbit strip tail and only 2 strands of legs tied at the head under the medium sized lead eyes.

 

When I replicate this fly this winter and put it in the tank the rabbit leather postures the fly on the bottom at a 45.  I suspect as the leather gets waterloged it would flatten out.  I am wondering if this posture is helpful in presentation and if I should condition the leather with a little wax to prolong the effect. If anyone knows if this is an intentional part of the fly design, please validate or debunk.  I think it is intentional and when moved it adds some realistic posturing as a real crab would. This may be a presentation nuance.

 

Many patterns use maraboo, hackle, craft fur, or other far less bouyant material...that will present flat at rest.

 

I tied some merkin style but have been also using ep brushes as in this video. 

 

I may go back to merkin as I feel there is a lot of trim waste in material using brushes. I am a bit tapped and conscious of waste especially plastic waste. Of all tutorials I have found this guy has the most economical tie of the crab body. Not sure his haclled claws make a difference but I would like to try his approach to the body.

 

 

Edited by puppet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In general,  can anyone advise what weight Lead Eye ranges they would typically recommend for each particular hook sizes they're looking for?   ie:  What Lead Eye weight(s) for say a # 1, 1/0, 2/0 hook? etc.  I'm sure if varies but is there a range for particular building Crab Fly sizes and the associated weights that will keep flies sitting down properly on the bottom of the ocean with still not having to cast unreasonaly heavy flies ?  ( I don't like heavy flies to begin with :) )

 

HT

Currently have aphasia.    Aphasia is a result of my head stroke causing a bleed.   Happened in my Maine vacation in July (2021).   Lucky me less than 1% of people get stroke aphasia.  :(      I'm making project but have been told this is easily 5 months to 1 year for this to improve.   Until then hope you don't mind making sense with what I text.   HT

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, HillTop said:

In general,  can anyone advise what weight Lead Eye ranges they would typically recommend for each particular hook sizes they're looking for?   ie:  What Lead Eye weight(s) for say a # 1, 1/0, 2/0 hook? etc.  I'm sure if varies but is there a range for particular building Crab Fly sizes and the associated weights that will keep flies sitting down properly on the bottom of the ocean with still not having to cast unreasonaly heavy flies ?  ( I don't like heavy flies to begin with :) )

 

HT

HT, I have done a bunch of crabs where I just do a small blob of white plasti dip and mix in a bit of tungsten powder. 

Mix it up and apply a bit to the belly of the crab and it will always land belly down and claws up. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, HillTop said:

In general,  can anyone advise what weight Lead Eye ranges they would typically recommend for each particular hook sizes they're looking for?   ie:  What Lead Eye weight(s) for say a # 1, 1/0, 2/0 hook? etc.  I'm sure if varies but is there a range for particular building Crab Fly sizes and the associated weights that will keep flies sitting down properly on the bottom of the ocean with still not having to cast unreasonaly heavy flies ?  ( I don't like heavy flies to begin with :) )

 

HT

What do you wanted the crab to do  - bomb to the bottom or kind of suspend/sink slowly? The material that the crab is tied with will also play a role as well. For a slower sink, I’d say extra small for 1, maybe 1/0; small for 1/0-2/0, med for 2/0. Those sizes assuming a yarn type merkin fly.

ASMFC - Destroying public resources and fisheries one stock at a time since 1942.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/11/2024 at 6:35 AM, puppet said:

I too am new to fishing/tying crab flies. There really seems to be more info on fishing crab patterns for permit.  lots of interesting notes on presentation if you google it.

 

I bought one crab fly that I was able to convert fish on and it was a merkin simply tied with a rabbit strip tail and only 2 strands of legs tied at the head under the medium sized lead eyes.

 

When I replicate this fly this winter and put it in the tank the rabbit leather postures the fly on the bottom at a 45.  I suspect as the leather gets waterloged it would flatten out.  I am wondering if this posture is helpful in presentation and if I should condition the leather with a little wax to prolong the effect. If anyone knows if this is an intentional part of the fly design, please validate or debunk.  I think it is intentional and when moved it adds some realistic posturing as a real crab would. This may be a presentation nuance.

 

Many patterns use maraboo, hackle, craft fur, or other far less bouyant material...that will present flat at rest.

 

I tied some merkin style but have been also using ep brushes as in this video. 

 

I may go back to merkin as I feel there is a lot of trim waste in material using brushes. I am a bit tapped and conscious of waste especially plastic waste. Of all tutorials I have found this guy has the most economical tie of the crab body. Not sure his haclled claws make a difference but I would like to try his approach to the body.

 

 

Thanks for sharing my video.  Obviously a merkin variation as almost every crab is.  That fly has been such a good producer for me and my customers, both numbers and size from Long Island sound to mid coast Maine. I tried a lot of variations of that thing.  If you follow the recipe it will land true every time, and it sinks fast enough to be really effective sight fishing.  It will still work with less frills but I’ve got lots of confidence in it full dress, it’s landed many hundreds of trophy bass.  Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/24/2024 at 12:22 AM, HillTop said:

In general,  can anyone advise what weight Lead Eye ranges they would typically recommend for each particular hook sizes they're looking for?   ie:  What Lead Eye weight(s) for say a # 1, 1/0, 2/0 hook? etc.  I'm sure if varies but is there a range for particular building Crab Fly sizes and the associated weights that will keep flies sitting down properly on the bottom of the ocean with still not having to cast unreasonaly heavy flies ?  ( I don't like heavy flies to begin with :) )

 

HT


IF you use soft hackle/body flies I find small to medium dumbbell eyes work, even on bayside flats.  Jig style hooks help too.
Wide body crab patterns need significantly more weight and still catch the tide. I’ve given up trying with these.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/24/2024 at 8:30 AM, James Browne said:

Thanks for sharing my video.  Obviously a merkin variation as almost every crab is.  That fly has been such a good producer for me and my customers, both numbers and size from Long Island sound to mid coast Maine. I tried a lot of variations of that thing.  If you follow the recipe it will land true every time, and it sinks fast enough to be really effective sight fishing.  It will still work with less frills but I’ve got lots of confidence in it full dress, it’s landed many hundreds of trophy bass.  Good luck!

 

Thanks,  knew about the Crab Pot Fly but not the other video, which I will surely take a look at.

 

Also, on some of these decent sized Crab Flies does anyone use the micro-swivels to help keep your leaders, and for that matter, the end of our fly lines to spin up or twisting up over time ?   I would think the micro-swivels would also be great for tying Crease flies as well?

 

HT

 

Currently have aphasia.    Aphasia is a result of my head stroke causing a bleed.   Happened in my Maine vacation in July (2021).   Lucky me less than 1% of people get stroke aphasia.  :(      I'm making project but have been told this is easily 5 months to 1 year for this to improve.   Until then hope you don't mind making sense with what I text.   HT

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@HillTop  regarding hook size and weight. It really depends on the water you are fishing and the presenetation.  Crabs on the bottom of a flat or suspended in current.  It will all depend on the conditions minute by minute.

 

Regarding the swivel. I have found no need for one yet, but like I said I am just starting to dig into this fly.

 

youtube is a great resource for imitating nature in our presentations.  In general I feel we should always start there as it can help us at the vise.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...