Merkin Crab Fly Del Brown's Merkin Crab
Mustad 34007 # 6-2
Tan, 6/0
Small Lead Dumbells
Tan Marabou
Gold Krystal Flash
Tan Antron Yarn
Strand or Flat Rubber
Del Brown's Merkin Crab is an old standby fly that's been around for years. You can't beat this pattern for sight casting to permit, but don't limit this all purpose crab fly to just this species. Try it out any time you find fish crabbing. Tie Merkins in differing sizes and shades from tan and greens to blue. You'll be covered for just about every crab variation that crawls around.

Step By Step:
Start with a good thread base and tie in your lead eyes. Try this article for a couple tips on tying with dumbell eyes.
Tie in a few strands of Krystal Flash.
Tie in one or two clumps of marabou. Make sure to use good quality soft marabou as you'll want these "claws" to move in the water.
Starting off you may want to cut individual pieces of yarn a bit on the long side. After you tie a few of these and get the hang of them you can cut the yarn to varying lengths to minimize waste or tie the yarn in first, then cut.
The traditional pattern calls for the yarn to be tied in on the TOP of the hook which will actually ride facing the bottom due to the lead eyes.
The "bottom" of the fly will face up and is the part visible to fish. Now I've never seen a crab with his legs on top of his shell, so why tie the pattern to mis-represent the actual crab?
Flip the hook over and tie in the yarn using the same "Figure 8" method as you used to tie in the eyes. Here's a tip: Your first fig 8 wrap should be loose, let your thread hang down under tension from just the bobbin and you'll be able to move, straighten or adjust the yarn. After it's in the correct spot make another fig 8 a little tighter to secure.
Repeat until the hook shank is filled up to just behind the eyes.
Flip the hook back over, run your thread to the back weaving it between the yarn wraps and tie in the legs, again using the fig 8 technique. When tying rubber legs in make sure not to pull too tight on your thread wraps or you'll find the legs will kink and won't lay flat.
Repeat for two more legs.
Flip the pattern back over and trim to approximate shape. Use your scissors to measure the half you've already trimmed.

* Be carefull not to accidentally "trim" the rubber legs!
Move the scissors down and it'll give you a pretty good idea of where to trim the other side.
Trim as above.
Using a comb, comb out the yarn to blend the fibers. You'll notice it'll get full and fuzzy and may need to be trimmed up with the scissors after it's combed out.
Gather (Don't pull!) all the legs together and trim to desired length.
This is what the bottom of the fly should look like.
If desired you can mark up the legs with "joints".

Additional Tips/Photos:
  • Merkin crabs are tied in a variety of colors and sizes. Experiment!
  • Try using 2 different shades of the same color yarn and alternating when tying in. It will give you a mottled look.
  • A stainless steel hook is not a must.

Tied By: Eric Zadorecky