Fly Tying Instructions for Crayfish

Fly Tying Instructions for Crayfish
Anglers commonly use crayfish flies in the form of a streamer to target large trout and bass. Numerous crayfish patterns are available to anglers with the common theme of being large and orange. Crayfish swim in a fast darting motion and they swim backward. Traditional woolly buggers and matukas will effectively imitate a crayfish and are much less difficult to tie than many of the complex patterns. Learn to tie a simple variation of a woolly bugger.


Difficulty: Moderate

Tying Instructions

Things You’ll Need:
  • Size 6 streamer hook
  • 3/0 rust thread
  • Orange rabbit strips
  • Burnt orange chenille
  • Two died orange saddle hackle feathers
  • Head cement
Step 1
Place any brand size 6 streamer hook in your fly tying vise. Begin wrapping the 3/0 rust thread from the eye of the hook to the bend in the hook. Stop the thread at the bend. Place two separate rabbit strips with the fur facing outward against the hook shank. Make several tight wraps of thread to tie in the rabbit strips as a tail.
Step 2
Cut the tag end with your scissors after securing the rabbit strips. Wrap the thread down the full length of the hook shank then back to the tail to create an even thread body. Tie the tips of two died orange saddle hackle feathers below the tail.
Step 3
Hold the saddle hackle feathers out of the way with your index and forefinger while holding the burnt orange chenille in the same fingers. Make several wraps of thread to secure the chenille and wrap the thread down the hook shank. Continue to hold the hackle out of the way while you wrap the chenille down the hook shank.
Step 4
Wrap the thread several times to secure the chenille to the hook shank. Cut the tag end of the chenille. Wrap the saddle hackle counterclockwise and use your fingers to flare the hackle while wrapping. Make even diagonal spaces while wrapping and make several consecutive wraps once you have reached the end of the chenille.
Step 5
Tie the end of the hackle and make several wraps of thread to form and even thread head. Whip finish the head and apply a small drop of head cement to finish the fly.

Tips & Warnings

You can add lead or tie the fly with a cone head to add weight. You can also add a small amount of blue chenille to the fly to imitate the crayfish when the exoskeleton has molted.
Check the regulations before you go fishing. Some waters require you to pinch the barbs on the hook and some do not allow the use of lead.

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.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.