By Louis DiGena
CE Crayfish (Close Enough) is a very simple Crayfish pattern I developed for trout and bass. When I design flies I like to follow the K.I.S.S. rule (Keep It Simple Stupid). I usually focus on one to two triggers when developing a pattern, here the claws, and swimming action. At rest, the marabou claws spread and flutter with the current giving the impression of the crayfish in a defensive position, claws flared out and moving. When swimming, the marabou claws of this pattern collapse like the natural and the dumbbell eyes give the fly its jigging action. These triggers mimic two key characteristics of the crayfish and causes a fish to strike. The added benefit of this design is that the CE Crayfish mimics small bait fish.
As a bonus, this pattern is quick and easy to tie. The dumbbell eyes allow the hook to ride point up, minimizing snags and hookups with the bottom. I like tying CE Crayfish in size 4 and 8 and in both light and dark olive, but you should use the color that best suits your water. I’ve found that pale olive is the best color for the young crayfish in the Raritan River system here in New Jersey. Other good colors are tan, orange and brown.
Vary the weight by omitting the extra non-toxic wire wraps, using lighter dumbbell eyes, or swap out the dumbbells for bead chain eyes. The weight of the fly will depend on water conditions and targeted species. When targeting carp, small sizes, no weight and bead chain eyes are a must, especially in still waters. Scale down the size of the fly for targeting panfish. Big, bull bluegills can't resist a crayfish. Like me, they can't pass up a lobster meal!
Want the pattern recipe click here.