Video: How to Tie a Crab Fly, with Tom Rosenbauer

Tom Rosenbauer fishes almost exclusively with flies that he ties himself, and he’s no slouch at the vise. Last time he was in Belize, at El Pescador, with the folks from The New Fly Fisher, they shot some cool tying videos.

Here, Tom shows the version of a simple crab pattern, which he uses for bonefish. Tom walks you through his reasoning for each step, thus revealing some of his secrets learned over almost 40 years of bonefishing. Tom’s flies are always designed to fool the fish, not to be overly beautiful or exact imitations. Keep in mind that he’s not at his own tying bench, so he’s making due with available materials–which is a lesson in itself. And you can pretty much guarantee he went right out to the water and caught a bonefish.

2 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie a Crab Fly, with Tom Rosenbauer”

  1. That’s a nice little tie. What size and model hook is that? One of the challenges with crab flies–especially small ones–is finding a hook that leaves enough gap between the body and the hook point. The traditional “raghead” crab and variants (Chicone’s Contraband Crab) actually lay a piece scouring pad or ram’s wool or McFlyfoam on the underside of the hook rather than the merkin-style, like Tom’s in the video. The merkin-style does leave the exposed thread wraps down the middle, which breaks up the appearance of the body/shell, but leaves more hook gap. The raghead-style presents a nicer, uniform body/shell, but eats into the gap distance and makes hook choice more important. Maybe the fish don’t care!

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