Hand Tied Crane Fly Crane Fly Nymph
Mustad 9762 #4-6
Brown, 8/0
Clear Mono
Nat'l Rabbit Dubbing
Dk Brown Rabbit Dubbing

The nymphal form of the Crane Fly is often a very overlooked spring pattern. In fact, up until 3 years ago I had never even seen or heard of a crane fly nymph. After receiving a diet study research paper from a friend and fisheries biologist I was amazed to see that just short of 30% of all stomach contents during May/June were these over looked Crane Fly nymphs. That's a huge percent! Give this pattern a try, you might just see why it's become a favorite of mine in late spring!

Step By Step:
Start with a thread wrap, tie in a small clump of aftershaft for a small short tail. Don't worry about trimming the front off. Also, tie in your clear mono that will be used for the rib.
Start dubbing a tapered body up 3/4 of the way up the shank. You're looking for an overall cigar shape with the head a bit on the blunt end.
When you think you've got enough material on for the body...add a bit more, you'll loose a bit when you trim it down.
Wrap the mono over the body to form a slightly segmented look. You'll have a hard time seeing this until after you trim it down at the end.
Dub the head with dark brown. Again, your looking for a blunt end cigar look.
Half hitch or whip finish, and apply head cement if you'd like.
If you're like me and dub in a hurry, you tend to get a few small lumps. A dubbing brush (or .22 cal cleaning brush) works well to take these out. Either that or take your time!
Trim to desired shape or you can leave it with the hairs all over the place and go for that "buggy" look although the crane fly nymph is pretty smooth with no antennea or gills.

Additional Tips/Photos:
  • Crane Fly nymphs are on the huge side, often between 1 1/2 & 2" long.
  • May and early June are the opportune time to fish these nymphs.
Tied By: Eric Zadorecky