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Moose Maine Crayfish - Part 1

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At one of this year's fly-shows back in March I ran into Stan Fudala from Bedford, New Hampshire in the USA who is a fly-tying instructor and also a certified fly-casting instructor. He was tying a crayfish pattern that looked like it would be great for big trout, chub and carp used to crunching down on such things so I persuaded him to tie one for us at Fish and Fly. Here then are the step-by-step instructions in Stan's own words. We have split this into two parts to keep the length more manageable.


Materials List

6x long straight ring eye streamer hook

Moose Mane

Burnt mono for the eyes or any other suitable substitute

Ring-neck pheasant church-window feathers for the claws and legs

Vinyl ribbing for the final overwrap on the tail

Chenille for the underbody


  1. Start with the thread about mid-point on the shank of the hook and wrap a base of thread to the bend of the hook so the thread stops midway between the point and the barb. Next secure the burnt mono eyes to the sides of the hook facing towards the back so that they are placed even with the bend of the hook, then bend them upright. Strip two of the pheasant feathers to the point that there is a small amount of material left at the tip.

    The remaining material should be around 1/2 inch long, take flexible cement and place it on each feather and then draw them through your finger and thumb to form the claw or tear drop shape, place these aside and let them dry. Tie in a small bunch of moose mane with the tips facing back about 1 inch past the bend of the hook to give the appearance of the feelers on the crayfish. After this is done place the claws facing backward and about 1 inch or so past the bend and tie them in under the eyes one side at a time, use caution as to not let the claws roll too much at this point.
  2. The next thing is to take a long clump of moose mane and clip the tips square and tie it on top of the fly with the butts facing at least an inch past the feelers and secure this in tightly. A drop of cement works good about now to lock the material in place at this time. To prepare the legs take another feather and strip the fluff from the stem and then comb the fibers so that they stand perpendicular to the shaft of the feather.

    Next trim the fibers along the shaft and close so that around 3/8 to 1/2 inch of feather remains perpendicular to the shaft of the feather. Tie the legs onto the top of the long segment of moose mane that is on the fly in such a manner that the but of the shaft is facing towards the back of the hook and leave around 1/8 of an inch  of trimmed material exposed over the point and the barb.
  3. Wrap the thread towards the eye of the hook around 2 thirds of the way back from the point and the barb, at this point tie in around 5 inches of chenille color of choice and just stop there for now. The next step is to wrap the chenille towards the back of the hook to form the underbody.

    The secret is to wrap the material with a little space in between each wrap, go beck as far as where the claws are tied in and then return the wraps into the small spaces left in between the first set this will fill in the underbody and not add bulk. After you wrap back to where the chenille was first tied in stop and tie off the body and trim the excess material.
  4. Next take the feather shaft for the legs and fold it over the top of the underbody and position it right down the center of the top of the fly and tie off in the same place as the chenille.

 Continued in Part 2...

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