By Richard Komar, Plano Texas
In America, they are Cambarus virilis and
C. bartoni. In Europe, they are
Astacus fluviatilis. To most species
of freshwater fish, they are known as food! This
freshwater crustacean is closely related to the
saltwater lobster and lives in lakes and rivers on
every continent except Africa and Antarctica.
In nature, crawdads come in a variety of color shades
and sizes. Like nature, there are many variations of
crawfish flies in existence.
The Texas Crawdad imitates the larger size crayfish,
easy to tie, easy to cast and fun to fish. Let's
Materials Texas Crawdad:
Hook: Mustad 33903, Size 1/0 or Equivalent.
Thread: 3/0, Brown.
Tail: Genetic Hen Feathers, Light Brown (Conranch).
Body: Ice Chenille, Large, Root Beer.
Eyes: Plastic Bead Chain, Gold.
Weedguard: 15-20 lb Test Monofilament
Claws: Genetic Hen Feathers, Light Brown (Conranch).
Tying the Texas Crawdad
1. Lay a thread base along the hook shank starting
from hook eye, wrapping toward the hook bend. Secure
a 6" length of monofilament along the shank and ¼"
down the bend for the weedguard.
2. Tie in a genetic hen feather at a 45-degree angle
on top of the hook shank. Leave any "stray" barbs in
place. They look like crawdad feelers or antennae.
3. Tie in the second claw at a similar 45-degree angle
on top of the hook.
4. Advance the thread about ¼" - ½" up the shank and
tie in the eyes with a figure-eight wrap.
5. Tie in the ice chenille or exoskeleton starting at
the hook eye, under the crawfish eyes, toward the bend.
Spiral the thread back to the hook eye.
6. Wrap the ice chenille from the hook bend, under the
eyes, toward the hook eye. Tie off the chenille and trim.
7. Pass the end of the monofilament weedguard up
through the hook eye. Secure it with several thread
wraps and trim the excess.
8. Attach a genetic hen feather (similar in color to
the claws) to the UNDERSIDE of the hook eye. Secure
with several thread wraps, whip finish and trim.
Apply head cement if desired. Trim the ice chenille
around the eyes to expose them.
How to Fish the Texas Crawdad:
The Texas Crawdad, tied on a size 1/0 hook, will be
about 4" long and a perfect size for hungry largemouth
bass. Smaller Crawdads tied in size 6 and 10 will do
nicely for smaller bass, panfish and trout. Weight
can easily be added to the hook shank and metal eyes
can be substituted for the plastic variety for additional
weight. The "humped" hook is preferred to aid in
holding the exoskeleton in place.
The Texas Crawdad is best cast out and allowed to sink
to or near the bottom. The weedguard will prevent many
tangles. When the Crawdad is given a short tug, the
tail will fold under the body and the claws will move
up and down. This action mimics a real bayou bug as
it moves backward to escape a hungry predator! Vary
the retrieve with 2 or 3 short tugs in a row. Crayfish
move erratically; especially when they will be eaten!
Don't be afraid to try different colors and sizes.
Crawfish come in various shades and sizes and can vary
widely from region to region. Have Fun! ~ Richard
Richard Komar is a hotwater flyfisher residing
in Plano, Texas and is a member of the Dallas
FlyFishers. Richard has done several other flies
for Fly of the Week,
The Hard-Hackle Spider,
The Raptor, The Black Widow and
You can reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org