It’s no secret that big fish love to eat crayfish. These crustaceans are high on the menu for big bass and trophy trout. Tie on a crayfish pattern to catch the biggest fish. The skittish crayfish matches the basic silhouette of a crayfish while imitating the crazy backward swimming motion. So tie up a bunch because you will lose a few. But don’t worry, they tie up really fast and you won’t feel such a loss as if you spent an hour tying a realistic one.


Hook – your favorite streamer hook, sizes #8 to #2
Thread - Orange 6/0 (140 Denier)
Eyes– Orange painted dumbbell eyes (can use red) with black pupil.
Claws – Orange squirrel tail or bucktail (I used squirrel tail natural fox)
Head – Orange squirrel dubbing or substitute (I used crayfish orange S.L.F.)
Carapace – Moose body hair
Body & Legs– Orange rabbit Zonker strip (can use barred crawfish orange)

Tail – Clipped ends of moose hair

How to Tie

  1. Put hook in vice. Tie thread on just in front of the hook bend. Make a thread base forward, halfway up the hook-shank, and then back toward the bend. Put a little Zap-a-gap on it and let it dry a minute or two. Tie in your eyes using a figure 8 wrap, then put a little zap-a-gap on to hold the eyes still so they won’t spin on the thread base (locate eyes just in front of the bend of the hook.)
  2. Tie in the squirrel tail for the claws just behind the eyes (bend of hook side), then wrap forward to tie the rest in for an underbody and clip at an angle a little bit behind the eye of the hook. Wrap back to the hook bend and separate the squirrel tail claws in half by using your thread (I did it like I was posting). Just keep it to each side any way you can.
  3. Dub some squirrel dubbing or your substitute from where you tied your claws in, and go around and under the eyes to the front of the eyes (figure 8’s).
  4. Invert the hook or rotate your vice. Tie in a clump of moose hair by the tips right in front of the eyes (eyelet side) enough to cover the top and just a little over the side (comb out fuzz and put in a stacker.)
  5. Tie in a rabbit zonker near the eyes (eyelet side), and wrap it forward to a little bit in front of the eyelet (2-3 eyelets), petting it backward as you go. Tie off, clip tag end, then brush the rabbit hairs down with your finger (wetting it helps.)
  6. Pull the moose hair back and tie off with several wraps of thread keeping the hair snug and not letting it spin on the hook shank (behind the eye.)
  7. Whip-finish the thread under the moose hair, and then clip the hair to form a tail. Apply head cement to the thread wraps, both over and under the tail.

NOTE: You can also tie in olive and tan. Just replace the orange with the other color. Everything else is the same.

Now that wasn’t so bad – now go tie up two dozen or more and go catch a big rock…oops, I mean fish (you will lose some on the bottom.)

If you tie this fly then fish it, please give me some feed-back on how well it worked for you. Or for any other questions, please contact me.