I constantly have my eyes open for new flies to tuck into my carp, smallmouth, redfish, permit and anything else fly boxes that look "munchy" and when Kevin Doyle of Destination Flies posted a few images of his Doyle's Floating Crab on Instagram, I asked if he would mind putting together a step by step to show others how he ties this fly. Grab your vise, tying materials and get to work.
MATERIALS - DOYLE'S FLOATING CRAB:
Hook - 2/0 Mustad C-68 SNP-DT
Thread - Tan 210 Danville Flat Waxed
Claws - Ginger Color Hareline Barred Rabbit Strips/3mm Tan Craft Foam
Shrimp Eyes - Homemade Epoxy and Glass Bead
Red Hot Spot - Estaz –Opal Salmon #ES26
Legs - Bone Color - Silicone Flutter Legs
Body - Tan Congo Hair - Spun into a brush (EP fibers can be used as a substitute)
Head: Montana Fly Company Tan 4mm Foam Cylinder
STEP #1 - Wrap hook with thread and glue, tie in Estaz equal to the hook barb, and complete three wraps on top of each other loosely.
STEP #2 - Tie in Shrimp Eyes, the end of the shrimp eye ball should be close to equal with the hook bend.
STEP #3 - Tie in 3 MM foam outside of the eyes, cut the corners off of the foam at the tie in point to allow for less bulk once wrapped over. Trim tip of claw at approximately 30 degree’s.
STEP #4 – Cut Rabbit strip claw to approximately 2.5” and tie in outside of the foam. Super glue the hide side of the rabbit strip to the foam and this will keep the rabbit strip from fouling.
STEP #5 – Tie in 4 silicone legs on the side of the hook shank, similar to how the rabbit and foam claws were tied in. Leave the silicone legs as a full piece and tie in the tip on each side. You will cut the center of the silicone legs later one once the body is shaped. This helps keep the legs out of the way while tying.
STEP #6 – Wrap Synthetic body hair material brush forward 4-7 wraps depending on brush thickness. This can also be completed with a dubbing loop if brushes are not used. Tie in 4mm foam cylinder and then whip finish.
STEP #7 – Tease out synthetic fibers and trim. Trim foam and synthetic fibers at the same time to get the taper right. Glue finished thread wraps once completed for durability. Width of the foam and crab body will vary dependent on size of crab you are trying to imitate. Wider crab body and foam will float a little higher. Preferred Body shape shown below.
Oh yeah, and they work. Your results may vary however but keep trying. Practice pays off. Eventually.
Find Destination Flies on Instagram and send a DM to get an order in if you'd rather not tie your own.