Video: How to Tie a Crane-Fly Larva

The folks at Tightline Productions have outdone themselves this week. When was the last time you saw a video that shows you a natural insect, offers step-by-step instruction on how to tie an imitation, teaches you how to fish it in a tandem rig, and then shows a beautiful brown trout being caught on the finished fly? I don’t think you can offer more compelling fare than that in a fly-tying video. The bug in question is the crane-fly larva, which many fly fishermen don’t know much about. Crane flies are those giant flying insects that look like a cross between a mosquito and a daddy longlegs. Although trout will eat these gangly adults, the larva is the most important stage for anglers to imitate.

In this great video, Tim Flagler tips his hat to the tiers and patterns that influenced his version of the crane-fly larva pattern, and then he launches right into the very simple steps. But as with all good tiers, Flagler makes even the simplest pattern easier to tie and more effective. By adding a drop of Zap-A-Gap to some thread wraps and then sliding the weighting wire over it, he makes the pattern more durable. His choice of yarn is important, as well. You can find the specific “oyster” yarn in any good knitting store or by clicking here.


          Crane-Fly Larva
          Hook: 3X-long nymph hook (here a Dai-Riki #285), size 12.
          Weight: 8 or 9 wraps of .02 lead-free wire.

          Thread: Fluorescent pink, 140 denier or 6/0.
          Adhesive: Zap-A-Gap.
          Body: “Oyster” Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift yarn.

          Head: Tying thread and head cement.

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