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Crane fly larva         Back to Categories

flyfishingthings.com/cranefly larva  How to tie and fish the crane fly larva. See the video link on the "Trout flies" page.

Crane fly larva recipe.

The natural color is light olive with patches of grey. flyfishingthings.com/crane_fly_larva_translucent

Hook Mustad 9672 size 2, 4,
Thread:  3/0 Black, Olive or Gray. 
Body:  Twenty-five turns of .020 lead wire followed by a thin over-wrap of opaque yellow floss or suitable material.  Note:  It is important the material be opaque in order to show through the dubbing.
Tying technique:  Loop dub.
Dubbing mix:  Ligas dubbing, 20% light muskrat, 20% pale sulfur and 60% light olive hare's ear.  Note: Use a blender or hand mix.  A hand mix give s a very motteled effect and imitates the larva perfectly.  Strive for translucency.  Look at the fly when it is wet and you will see what I mean.
Tieing Instructions:   See video here video

Step 1.  Tie thread full length of shaft from head to bend, then tie in lead wire and wrap from bend forward.  Step 2. Secure the wire in place with thread over the wire back to the bend of the hook.  Step 3. Tie in the underbody and wrap one layer the over the full length of the shaft.  Step 4. Form a dubbing loop about 6 to 8 inches long and wax the loop. Step 5. Place the dubbing mix in the loop until a strand is formed at least 5 inches long; then twist the loop to form a fuzzy "rope".  Step 6. Wrap from bend to head allowing the underbody to peak through.  Step 7.
Finish off with head.

Note This pattern is a very simple design.  Avoid the inclination to add to the pattern such as ribbing it with wire.  Wire just compacts the dubbing and takes away from the translucency.  You can purchase this fly in my store.

Fishing the Crane fly pattern.

The conventional nymph fishing set up will work with this pattern, especially for smaller streams that have the smaller larva in them.  However, if the water has any size or depth to it at all, I have had the best results using a sinking line with a slow hand twist retrieve.
I make my cast at an angle 3/4's across and up stream and dead drift the fly back to me until it passes me, then I switch to a slow hand twist retrieve and "swim" the fly to the end of cast.  At the end of the swing I allow the fly to "hang" for a few seconds then if I don't get a strike I will continue the hand twist retrieve until the fly needs to be recast.  It has been my experience that if the fly is going to be taken, the strike will come as the fly starts to swing in the third quarter of the cast.  The strike is usually represented by a very heavy tug on the end of the line. 

This pattern is extremely effective during run off.
The most important thing to remember is the pattern must have translucency. Check the streams you fish (under the rocks) and determine the color and size of the crane fly that reside there and use this pattern style to tie them.  You won't be disappointed with the results.