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nsdrawbridge10 06-18-2011 10:57 PM

cray fish
Hey guys I was at my local river today and I saw alot alot of cray fish. It got me wondering, with the number of them I saw they have to be a food source for a big fish. So I was wondering if anyone has ever used a cray fish pattern for trout.

MoscaPescador 06-18-2011 11:07 PM

Re: cray fish
Crawdads are staples for big trout. At a certain size, trout will consider bugs a snack, whereas a crawdad will be a meal. One time I saw a guy gut out a Brown Trout after he gill hooked it. Inside its stomach were three crawdads.

The two patterns that I use the most are:

Tim Haddon's Dead Drift Crayfish

Anderson's Papi Chulo (Papi Chulo = Bad @ss daddy)


caseywise 06-19-2011 12:00 AM

Re: cray fish
nice patterns dennis!

Ard 06-19-2011 01:33 AM

Re: cray fish
I've only ever tied one crayfish pattern and they were pretty realistic. I found the recipe for this in the September 1981 issue of Fly Fisherman Magazine and had no rest till I had tied so many that I still have a few that were not lost on the bottom of some pool too deep to wade.


I made them with dyed hair too and drifted them like giant nymphs. I never caught what I would say was a huge fish on one but I caught some nice size trout and a few small mouth bass also.

nsdrawbridge10 06-19-2011 12:13 PM

Re: cray fish
do you swing them, or strip them in like a bugger

MoscaPescador 06-19-2011 12:21 PM

Re: cray fish

Originally Posted by nsdrawbridge10 (Post 273616)
do you swing them, or strip them in like a bugger

In rivers, I fish crawdad patterns mostly in a dead drift. The whole idea is to get the crawdad pattern to tumble in the current.

In slower water, I will cast the "fly" upstream using a 200 grain integrated shooting head and strip the fly. I do not use this technique that often since most of the water that I fish is faster.


Bigfly 06-19-2011 01:21 PM

Re: cray fish
Dennis, I'm with you on Tim's fly.
We mostly dead drift it with weight as well.
When water temps reach a certain happy spot, the crays molt. Aug/Sept.
When they do, their claws are light colored, and soft.....
Biggies can eat larger crays at this time. Big meal, big fish. Tim's pattern is considered a seasonal-tye pattern based on that small observation. Which is why we tye.
Places where fish don't see them much the takes are impressive, here due to home field pressures, they will still look at one, but often eat the little tidbit I sent with, instead. Small is safe.
I liken a cray, to the "milk billboard", you have to look.
Baby dads are a good pattern the rest of the year.
Ralph Cutters pattern, "The Goblin" also works well thrown up-stream, above a pool, then stripped as fast as humanly possible down-stream. (Ralph's tip.)
They can actually swim pretty fast when panicked.
I recommend using a 1-2x leader, and a strip set. Hang on.... Local smallies snack on them too.
Ard, killer pattern! Cool eyes.


pab1 10-24-2011 12:39 AM

Re: cray fish
I have had very good luck in the last couple of years using crawdad patterns for trout. I caught a rainbow last year that got me started using them. She was about 18" and while I was reviving her I noticed her sides were bulging and whatever she had eaten was pretty hard. The only thing I could come up with was that she had eaten at least two crawdads by the feel of it. I tied a few small ones to use with 4 wt rods and after some modifications came up with a pattern I'm happy with.

I tie them so the hook point is up using squirrel zonkers for the claws and a piece of foam tied to the shank of the hook, below the point. I cover the shank with dubbing, saddle hackle wrapped for legs, melted mono eyes and swiss straw for its shell back and tail with two lengths of rubber legs between the zonkers for antenna. With a dumbell weight tied on the opposite side of the hook near the eye, the foam makes it sit up at an angle like a crawdad defending itself when I pause after 3-4 shorts strips. Nothing too original but they work!

Guest1 10-24-2011 01:33 AM

Re: cray fish
Everything eats crayfish. My pattern.
The recipe is posted here on the forum.

mdraft1 11-06-2011 07:45 AM

Re: cray fish
Do most of you guys weight your crayfish patterns?

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