Swedish version


Culprit Crane fly
by Jason Akl

Culprit Crane fly, by Jason Akl

  Crane Flies are one of the most underestimated insects of the order Dipthera. People rave over fishing Caddis Flies, Mayflies and Trico’s but hardly ever venture to think that Crane Flies could be a very productive fish catching pattern. With numerous species of Crane Flies being found throughout North America the one genus that stands out from the rest would have to be that of the Giant Crane Fly (Tipula abdominalis). These large tasty morsels to fish represent one of the few quality surface feeding opportunities for fly anglers ranging from early spring to late fall.

  Crane Flies most generally can be seen prodding around the waters surface after a heavy rain, but due to the adults quick dehydration time. Crane Flies are forced to stay near watery environments.

  The best bet for anglers is to use Crane Flies patterns after a light rain or whenever a stiff breeze presents itself. Crane Flies are not the swiftest of flies and the slightest wind can send them tumbling to the waters surface. Even though we perceive adult crane fly patterns as just an ordinary dry fly it is not. Crane Fly patterns dead drifted will catch fish, but not nearly like when the patterns is skipped and hopped along the waters surface.

  Active presentations work best, simply touch the fly down two or three times in the same spot as if a natural insect had fallen to the water and was trying to take flight again. After you bounce the fly a few times let it drift past the hole where you think the fish might be laying and pick it and do it again. Usually, I take two or three attempts at a possible fish and if no reaction is seen then it is time to move on.

  Not only will this technique work for you on big rivers and lakes but it seems to be especially effective for duping trout out of small streams in tight cover. Trout seem to have a weakness for these helpless over-sized looking mosquitos, so adding a few into your fly box can only help to better your odds in hooking up consistently with quality trout.

Materials used in the Culprit Crane Fly Pattern

Hook: TMC Scud Size 10.
Thread: Tan Uni-Thread Size 8/0.
Body: Hares Ear Dubbing.
Eyes: Plastic Black Bead Chain Eyes.
Legs: Paint Brush Bristles.
Wings: Montana Fly Company Winging Material.
Thorax: Pheasant Tail Fibers.

1. Start this fly by placing your hook into the vise securely and attaching the thread behind the hook eye. Tie in a pair of the black bead chain eyes behind the hook eye using figure eight thread wraps and a little head cement. Once the eyes are secured in place bring the thread down to the rear of the hook shank. The thread should stop at approximately the point where the hook begins to curve.

Step 1.


2. Pinch dub the thread and begin to wrap a nice, slowly tapering body forward up the hook shank. Stop at approximately the 1/3 mark on the hook shank and clean off any dubbing left over on the thread.

Step 2.


3. Clip 10-15 long pheasant tail fibers and tie them down in front of the dubbed body you just wrapped. Continue to dub the body once again, but this time one for 4-5 wraps of dubbed thread. Once the newly dubbed section reach the same taper as the rest of the body pull the pheasant tail fibers forward over the dubbed body and tie them down to the hook shank.

Step 3.


4. In front of the wing-case you just created tie in two paint brush bristles per side. Pinch dub the thread once more and fill in the body between the legs and up to the back of the bead chain eyes.

Step 4.


5. Using you MFC wing cutters or scissors cut out a pair of wings to be tied on top of the back of the fly. Tie in the wings, one per side behind the bead chain eyes. The wings should extend just a little past the end of the hook. Dub the thread once more and cover the tie down point of the wings. Pull the remaining pheasant tail fibers forward over the bead chain eyes and tie off at the rear of the hook eye.

Step 5.


6. Clip the tag ends of the pheasant tail fibers and whip finish and cement the thread. Using heated tweezers pinch and bend the paint brush bristles to form joints in the legs (two bends in opposite directions for each leg). Lastly apply a little head cement to the leg joints you just created to hold them in shape even after routine abuse.

Step 6. Finished fly


Tight lines and Smooth threads

Jason Akl © 2004




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