The Backwater’s Micro Crab is one of those simple crab patterns that I really enjoy tying. I really dislike tying complex patterns when a simple fly will do the job just as well. My time on the vise is at a premium most days, and so if I need to build an arsenal of effective patterns, those with fewer steps involved rise to the top of my list. I would tie this with a straight silver or black painted barbell rather than the painted eyes as you already have a set of UV eyes on the pattern. No need to duplicate it. The silicone legs tied in the rear makes for an easy time of wrapping the polar chenille body. If you don’t have the calf tail, craft fur or fox will work just as well.
Backwater’s Micro Crab Fly Pattern Recipe
Hook: Mustad C47SD #4
Thread: Danville 210 Denier
Weight: Small lead dumbbell
Eyes: UV eyes (homemade)
Legs: Silicone legs 6-8
Body: Medium polar chenille
Wing: Calf tail
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Let;s face it, tying saltwater crab flies can be a real drag, but if you are serious about getting into stripped bass, permit and bonefish, it’s something you will need to deal with. The Merkin Crab is a good candidate for tyers just getting started with crab patterns. The legs can either be tied in between bunches of EP Fibers, or simply tied with an overhand knot once the body is complete. The EP fiber colors can be alternated to give a little more realistic coloration to the fly. You can tie the fly on smaller hooks, but the EP finer bunches limit the amount of bundles you can tie onto a shank. A size 2 should allow 5-6 clumps, and a good size for the fly. Size 4 hooks will be more along the 4-5 bunch limit.
Merkin Crab Fly Pattern Recipe
Hook: Saltwater hook #2
Thread: 210 Denier
Weight: black barbell eye weighted (lead or brass)
Mouth / tail: Marabou
Claws: Grizzly saddle hackle
Body: EP Fiber
Legs: Round rubber legs or silicone skirt legs
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This is a cool concept for using resins like the Tuffleye product. Steve Flanagan cures a nice spoon, so have a watch. If you don’t have the materials for a mold, silly putty is a good product to use. I can see a whole application for shrimp and crab flies using these techniques. Nice stuff. This is a great fly for Redfish on the Texas coast. Filmed at the FFF Gulf Coast Conclave in Lake Charles, LA.