Hackle & Hair Crawfish Step-by-Step

Hackle & Hair Crawfish Step-by-Step:

Crayfish, crawfish, crawdad or mud bug. Regardless what you call them, there’s certainly no denying these minute Crustaceans are a prized snack to everything from trout and bass to bowfin and carp. This certainly holds true in a state like Louisiana where near 40 species can be found residing everywhere from bayous to lakes to low spots in our front lawns.

With that in mind, it should be obvious that an array of crawfish patterns belong in every Louisiana angler’s box. While many of these may be 1/0 zonker clawed monstrosities meant to entice largemouth, a variety of smaller offerings exist for panfish, trout and the ever wary carp.

The latter is what I had in mind as I put together the following pattern. Drawing from a number of patterns, I can’t really attribute this fly to any one angler. However, everything from Whitlock’s Near Nuff Craw to Borski’s Slider played a roll. Tied on a Gamakatsu SL45 (#6) below, I have hope this fly will prove an effective drag and drop offering for the local carp.

Gamakatsu SL45 (#6) 140 Denier (Brown) Epoxy Mono Eyes (Black)
Material Marabou (Rusty Brown or Orange)Materials Krystal Flash (Rootbeer)Material India Hen (Brown or Crawfish Orange)
Materials Ice Chenille (Burnt Orange)Materials India Hen (Brown or Crawfish Orange) Materials Deer Body Hair (Brown/Natural)
Materials UV Resin Material Dumbell Eyes (XS; Black)

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Hackle & Hair Crawfish Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge)

Tips and Tricks

  1. Presentation – When it comes to carp presentation is key. These fish are incredible sensitive to sound as their air bladder is essentially an extension of their inner ear. Keep this in mind when considering where to place these heavier, drag and drop carp flies. Too close or too loud, and you may be left with a swirl of mud where your carp once sat.
  2. Color Selection – While I selected the orange color scheme favored by my local carp for this tie, keep in mind that crawfish come in a variety of colors. Consider stocking your box with a mix of orange, brown, olive and tan.
  3. Adhesives and Finishes – Note that I made no reference to adhesives or finishes during the above SBS. That’s due to the common carp’s astounding sense of taste and smell. Such additives may prolong the life of your fly, but they may also be enough to deter an otherwise willing fish.

Proof of Concept

While the local carp are still playing hard to get, a few resident largemouth were more than happy to serve as proof of concept.

The individual featured on the right went so far as to rush the fly from more than 10′ away.

Happy New Year!


Species Caught on the Hackle & Hair Crawfish Fly to Date:
  1. Largemouth Bass
  2. Golden Trevally (almost…)

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