Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas fly tying fun

I've been doing a little fly tying tonight in preparation for a little trout fishing tomorrow. I will be presenting the rainbows and browns a few festive offerings just to see what happens. I know I'm certainly not the first person out there to attempt a little fly tying with Christmas decorating materials, but I thought I would share one of my Christmas creations. I am calling it the "Christmas Crawdad."

Santa approved fly pattern: the "Christmas Crawdad"

The pattern is really more of a shrimp pattern than a true crayfish imitation, but I don't suspect the trout will care too much. The trout of the Spring River (where Kelly and I will be tomorrow) aren't too picky as long as it looks like a crayfish. The fish there feed heavily on crayfish and any fly that resembles one (such as a large woolly bugger in reddish brown) will typically be productive. Our experience with woolly buggers has also shown that white rubber legs really help get their attention, so I have added some white trailing appendages to this pattern. The water of the Spring River tends to be on the cloudy side so the white rubber probably helps the fish see the fly.

The "Christmas Crawdad" size 6

I tied the "Christmas Crawdad" on a size 6 Daiichi #1750 streamer hook. I used bead chain eyes for a little weight and tied them on to make the hook ride in the up position. The "tail" portion of the fly is fox squirrel, midge flash, and two rubber strands. The body is made out of a holiday decorating "ribbon" from the craft store... which is really a lot like an estaz chenille with a mylar tinsel woven into a string core. The ribbon as I purchased it from the craft store was actually two strands (one gold and one green/red) woven together around a wire core... great for decorating... not so great for fly tying straight off the spool. I was delighted with the results of unwrapping it. I tied a couple in green and red and one in gold.

There are all sorts of goodies that could be useful for fly tying among the Christmas decorations. Most of the useful items I have found would probably be incorporated into some sort of streamer pattern. I don't expect to find anything that would do much good in tying small dries, but you never know. Be creative and tie something festive for Christmas. I'd love to see some of your holiday patterns. If you decide to tie one, please leave a comment below with a link to a blog post or photos.

I'll report back on the success... or failure... of the "Christmas Crawdad." I have high hopes... but rather low expectations.

I can't wait to see if the trout are in the holiday spirit.


  1. What a clever idea to use up some scraps. I am going to take your suggestion and pass it along as a challenge to Dustin. He's pretty creative, so I am anxious to see what he comes up with. Thanks for sharing the festive idea! Hope you and Kelly get into some jolly 'bows! -stephanie

  2. Jay, great post and what an interesting idea. It's a nice looking fly. I wouldn't be surprised if you caught some fish with it.

  3. Jay
    Just goes to show you that there are lots of little items around the house to add to that fly. I really like the tinsel look on the bugger you tied. I haven’t seen that variation before. This is why I am taking a class in fly tying next month. My first is try to master the hoppicator. Jay you and family have a great Christmas!

  4. Thanks for the comments guys. Now to write a post to tell the tale of yesterday's fishing adventure... where do I begin?