Fly of the Month by J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Brandon Bailes, Athens, AL. Brandon’s passion is exploring and fishing small streams. Find Brandon on Instagram.

The Hatchling Craw came about as my tying has centered more and more on matching the average forage size on the streams I fish. I spend the majority of my fishing time on small warmwater bluelines and after lots of sampling I came to the conclusion that my size 2 and even size 6 craws were not the majority of the population in these waters, instead a size 10 or 12 craw was perfect and fish readily take them! I tie the Hatchling on Gamakatsu B10S hooks sz 10 and 12 but I also use either beadchain eyes or brass dumbbell eyes, depending on how I want to fish them ( under an indicator or actively retrieve/hop them back). So far I have used them successfully on panfish, bass, and tailwater trout.

Materials List

Gamakatsu B10s in sizes 10 or 12
XS beadchain or Dumbbell eyes
Pine Squirrel Zonker
Frankenfly Nymph dubbing
MFC mini centipede legs
MFC skinny skin or Kiley’s Nymph Skins
Mono 4#



  1. Attach XS beadchain or dumbbell eyes
  2. Tie in a small clump of dubbing at the hook bend….this acts as a pillow for the antennae
  3. Attach centipede legs to each side of the dubbing clump and then add an additional clump of dubbing to veil over the antennae . then trim centipede legs to desired length.
  4. Tie in skinny skin on the underside of the hook at the same location as the antennae were tied in.
  5. Next create a small dubbing ball the cover up the tie in points for the skin ( this dubbing ball should stop in line with the hook point).
  6. Now cut two ½”pieces of zonker and trim the fur off all but the very end and tie in right behind the dubbing ball. This helps flare the claws.
  7. Now dub a body over and behind the zonker to about the halfway point of the hook shank,
  8. Tie in a piece of 4# mono and then continue dubbing the entire shank, creating a uniform carrot shape taper to the body.
  9. Once you have completed that simply pull the skinny skin over the dub body and then wrap the mono over the rear half of the fly…binding down the skin and creating the ribbing.
  10. Finally fold the skin back and tie off the mono right in front of the weighted eyes, lay the skin back down and take some wraps to secure everything and whip finish. UV the thread wraps and brush out the underbody for the desired buggyness.


  1. Terrific-looking pattern Brandon. I’ve tried for awhile to come up with something like this but it’s not easy. I never tried tying in dumbbell “eyes” down near the tail like that; but clearly they’d get multiple jobs done if tied on down there, and I can’t imagine the fish care so much. Great idea, thanks, I’ll try to duplicate this. (If you have the detailed tying instructions posted anywhere with photos of each step, please let us know as I think they’d help.)

    – Mike

  2. I’ve caught as many trout on little crayfish over the last few seasons as on any other pattern. Once you start looking for them, you realize they’re everywhere, and that some streams are absolutely jammed with them. I’ll tie this in tan or cream to imitate the molting ones that trout seem to prefer. I don’t think bass care whether they’re soft-shells or not. Excellent pattern and advice about size.

  3. Brandon,

    That’s a perfect pattern for creeks like Socapatoy (about 1 mile upstream on Hatchet Creek from Hwy 231 just north of Rockford, AL in Coosa county). Loaded with Redeye bass which would gobble that hatchling up. Beware this is sometimes referred to as “Deliverance” territory.

    Mike Cline

    1. yes Mike I use them on coosa bass quite a bit! i have several friends fishing them around that area as well and they do well using them on a nymphing rig.

  4. Picture shows hook up. Is this how it’s mounted in the vise? Then skinny skin is attached to the side opposite the hook point? Thanks.

    1. you can mount it in the vise however you are comfortable. i just use my rotary feature to turn the hook when attaching the skin to the underside.

      1. It’s the “underside” that got me. If the hook is mounted normally (hook down) in the vise, the underside would be the hook side. And putting the skin there didn’t make sense, but I thought I was missing something. And another question.. is bead head mounted on topside or underside ? Obviously, I”m not a very experienced tyer, so thanks for your patience.

        1. yeah the skin is tied on the hook side and the dumbbell/beadchain is tied on top of the shank to make it ride hook point up, like a clouser.

  5. just starting out tying, i’d sure like to see a tying demo. I read your article and will try it. a demo would
    really help, just a thought.

  6. Great looking fly! I can’t wait to try to tie one. Small question: are you using the “stone gold” Frankendub or some mixture?

    I also second (third? fifth?) the request for a video!


      1. Thanks, Brandon! I imagine I’ll want to experiment with different colors, but want to start by trying to get as close as possible to the way you’ve tied it here.

    1. You can contact Brandon Bailes on social media if you are interested in purchasing his flies.

      Thank you

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