FOM Svend cray july 2020

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Erik Svendsen, Provo, UT
You can find Erik @ and

If you love fishing crayfish patterns this is a must have for your box. It is a combination of many patterns I have tied and tested over the years and finally love the way this one fishes and is tied. There is nothing new about some of the things I have done with this Crayfish that make it different than others besides the 3 cones of hackle to create the head and minimize the arm fouling. Along with using the tab legs to create a shell, which isn’t new, but using the mono to not cut the tab legs and covering in a good resin makes this fly bullet proof to last many many fish piercings.

I cover the eye in UV resin because I am usually stripping and jigging this in through the rocks or shallows on a floating line. It can be simply dropped and jigged, the weight will place it in a defensive position and the arms being made of rabbit will naturally trap air causing them to rise making it vulnerable to any fish looking for a snack.

It is more time consuming than other Crayfish patterns I have fished, but this is way more effective and way more durable than others I have tied while also minimizing materials needed. I love this Black/Orange Magnum Rabbit strip color and also fish them in dark olives and crayfish orange.

I typically fish this from shore, casting at angles and stripping it across the rocks with quick strips and long pauses to allow it to rest in the defensive position with claws up. I also have cast it towards the banks from a float tube but try to strip parallel to the shoreline. I almost always fish it with floated line.

The Recipe:

Hook: Ahrex TP650 26 degree hook
Thread: Semperfli waxed thread 8/0
Hackle: Whiting Hackle Rooster Orange grizzly
Eyes: Shrimp Eyes or you can make your own with Mono.
Large Antenna: Hareline Grizzly Barred Rubber Legs
Antennule/Legs: Voodoo Fibers
Claws/Body: Rabbit strips – 1/8″ size for hook sizes 2 and 4, Magnum for sizes 2/0 and 4/0
Shell/Tail fin: Orange/black Grizzly Flutter Legs
Ribbing of Abdomen: 20-30 lb mono
Shell: Semperfli no tack uv resin


  1. Great pattern. What species do you typically target with this pattern. I haven’t had much luck catching trout on crayfish patterns and was wondering if this one might work. Thanks.

    1. There is one lake locally that I have luck catching cutthroat on this crayfish pattern. Other than that its been really spotty. Advantages of fishing it in a bass/trout environment is that you have the chances of catching multiple species on one fly pattern and that’s why I love fishing them. Try changing up your stripping or jogging techniques because generally I get more hits with trout either on a quick strip like the cray is swimming away or with it simply sitting on the bottom and twitching it slightly.

  2. Svend, I found a youtube video you posted last January that provides explicit tying instructions for this pattern. That video is very helpful. Looks like a great pattern and I’m always a big fan of inverted hooks for cray patterns. This looks far better and will definitely be much more durable than the way I have tied my clumsy cray imitations recently.

    Have you every tried this pattern in a coloration that would imply a freshly moulted crawdad? Just curious.

    – Mike

    1. Yes I have tried it in some molted colors and also some custom color blends and my best luck Has been with the black orange which looks almost dark brown. Playing around with some new colors as we speak though, one of which being an extremely molted one

      1. Well thanks, and do let us know please. We habitually mimic “cycles” and “stages” of insects–larvae vs. emergers vs. hatched adults vs. spinners…but I also have strong interest in leveraging knowledge of other species’ “cycles” and “stages,” such as alevin-stage small fry and molting/molted crawdads and tadpole patterns and such. I’ve done some experimentation, but I don’t get out thousands of hours per year. Would welcome hearing your experiences with molted-colored crawdads of your own pattern, as time goes by.

        – Mike

        1. yes it sounds like we suffer the same problem. I don’t get out as much as most, so for me I will try other color combos for a bit and seem to quickly go back to confidence colors. I rely on others who fish much more than me that I send samples to and get reports back. Been playing with some new colors to show the more “molted” stage but it might not be until next year that I get the feed back I need since covid and the pandemic has drastically affected some of my friends who test colors for me. Hope to add more confidence colors but for me locally the black/orange, cray orange, and a dark olive have been good to cover the year.

  3. I certainly wish there was a written instruction of how to construct this fly. I have watched the video twice and made notes but when I get to the tying vise, it is hard to recall the order of what happens to make it correctly. Videos are nice but they are fleeting and my memory doesn’t give as good feedback as it did when I was younger.

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