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
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.
We don’t often feature saltwater flies on the blog, but they are an important part of the fly tyers diet. The good folks at Fish Tales Flyshop in Calgary have been busy adding some quality tutorials to their site. The shop organizes trips to warmer climates and they also have a selection of flies and materials to service that clientele.
This patterns features a Enrico Puglisi dubbing brush to give some bulk to the body. The material is nice to fish with with and I use the unwound version in streamer wings quite often. When it gets wet, it has a nice translucent appearance.
Here is a quote from the site about how the pattern came to be.
This bone fish fly has an interesting history. It is actually a combination of ideas that were introduced to me by two different tiers; David Blair and Terry Johnson. Terry makes a palmered rabbit hair fly with splayed feathers out the back that he calls the 10X10. Named that because on one of Terry’s trips to Cayo Coco it caught 10 good bones by 10 in the morning. David suggested using the Enrico Shrimp brush instead of the palmered rabbit hair to achieve the same type of fly.
Hook: Daiichi x point or 2546 #4 Thread: Fluorescent pink or red flat waxed nylon by Danville Dubbing: Shrimp pink ice dub or Enrico shrimp dub in pink Claws: 4 hen cape feathers Body: Enrico shrimp brush in pink. Eyes: bead chain or x-small lead depending on depth of water to be fished.