By Tim Flagler
Originally by Ed Story

fotm june 2017

Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

While we all love spending time at the vise, were always looking for ways to cut down on the number of patterns we tie regularly. ED STORY’s crackleback fits that style of fishing perfectly; part dry fly, part wet fly and part micro-bugger. This easy to tie pattern mimics naturals on the surface, emerging caddis and just looks buggy. It’s a perfect prospecting fly, but match the size to the naturals and you can easily fool actively feeding fish. Use this fly to cover water quickly, fishing it dry until the end of the drift and then swinging it back down below me. Skitter it across the surface like a caddis or give it a slight tug to pop it under the surface and swing it like a soft hackle.


HOOK – Dai-riki #300 #6 or equivalent
THREAD – UTC 70 denier (8/0) rusty brown
BACK – Peacock herl (natural)
HACKLE – Neck furnace hackle was the original but a brown hackle will work
BODY – Cream rabbit fur dubbing


  1. Debarb hook – mount in vise – start your thread in one eyelet from the eye and go rearward three or four wraps and clip off the tag end of the thread.
  2. Now select two peacock herls and tie them in by the tips right in front where your thread is and continue wrapping rearward to the start of the bend, now clip your tag ends of the peacock herl that are at the front of the hook by the eye.
  3. Select a hackle feather but before plucking it out measure it to the hook size with a hackle gauge then pluck it from the neck. Strip off the fuzzy stuff and clip the shank leaving about an eighth of an inch of bare stem. Now take the feather in your hand with the dull or backside is facing you. Now with the feather facing rearward tie the feather in where your thread is now leaving a small amount of bare stem between the thread and peacock fibers . Lay the stem on near side of the hook and take firm thread wraps to hold it in place. Continue wrapping over the stem forward to hold it in place.
  4. Now dub the body with the cream rabbit fur but just a small thin noodle will do about two inches long. Now start wrapping the noodle starting at the hook bend and going forward leave a bit of space to tie in the rest of the materials.
  5. Bring the peacock herl forward and tie off (straight down the middle of the back) clip off the herl tag ends.
  6. Grab your hackle with some hackle plyers and start spiral wrapping forward about five or six turns (the fibers will be facing forward) tie off and clip the tag end of the feather. Form a small thread head – whip finish and clip your thread.