Crane Fly Larva Tying Instructions

Crane Fly Larva Tying Instructions
Crane fly larva can be found in streams, rivers and lakes throughout North America. The crane fly is an effective fly fishing pattern for multiple species, but it is most commonly used when targeting trout. The larva typically inhabit the river banks and enter the water when rain and melting snow dislodge the insect. Crane fly larva are often available to the fish along with worms that occupy a similar niche in the environment. Fishing a crane fly larva in conjunction with a San Juan worm is an effective approach.


Difficulty: Moderate


Things You’ll Need:
  • Tiemco 9395 #4-6 hook
  • Fly tying vise
  • Bobbin
  • Tan 6/0 thread
  • Scissors
  • Whip finisher
  • Hen fibers
  • Flat, clear, medium tubing
  • Tan or olive rabbit dubbing
  • Dark olive rabbit dubbing
  • Dubbing wax
Step 1
Place the Tiemco 9395 hook in the jaws of your fly tying vice. Secure the hook, and apply slight pressure with your fingers to be sure the hook is solidly in place.
Step 2
Attach the tan 6/0 thread to the bobbin, and use a bobbin threader to prepare for tying. Place your scissors, whip finisher and bobbin next to the fly tying vise.
Step 3
Place the dubbing, tubing and hen fibers on the fly tying table. Place all of the materials in an area that can be easily reached from your tying position.

Fly Tying Instructions

Step 1
Cut a clump of hen fibers, and lay the fibers over the hook's bend. Make several wraps of thread to secure the fibers to the hook as a short tail.
Step 2
Wrap the thread from the hook's eye to the bend in the hook. Lay a section of clear, medium tubing over the hook shank, and wrap the thread back down to the eye while securing the tubing to the hook. Cut off any excess tubing near the hook's eye.
Step 3
Wrap the thread back to the bend in the hook, and apply a small amount of dubbing wax to the thread. Use your thumb, forefinger and middle finger to spin a layer of tan or olive rabbit dubbing on the thread. Wrap the dubbing forward to create the fly body. You will need to apply several layers of dubbing to create a thick body profile. Stop the dubbing to leave one-third of the hook exposed near the eye.
Step 4
Wrap the clear tubing counter-clockwise and at a slight angle. The tubing should be slightly spaced and evenly wrapped. Stop wrapping once you have reached the end of the dubbing, and make several wraps of thread to secure the tubing to the hook. Use your scissors to cut any excess tubing.
Step 5
Apply a layer of dubbing wax to the thread, and spin dark olive rabbit dubbing on the thread. Wrap the dubbing over the remaining one-third of the hook until the diameter is even with the body. Use the whip finisher to tie several half-hitches and complete the fly. Use your scissors to cut the remaining thread.

Tips & Warnings

You can use a seine to collect crane fly larva in the water you plan to fish and change the dubbing colors to match the natural insect.
Avoid hitting your tying thread with the hook point or your scissors. If the thread breaks while you are tying, immediately wrap more thread on the hook to recover.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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