I clearly remember the first time I saw a Crackleback. I was guiding on Alaska’s Lake Creek in 1993, and my clients were a nice couple from Missouri. I took them to a stretch of river where I knew that there were lots of big grayling and suggested that each of them tie on a Parachute Adams. The woman said, “I’m going to try a Crackleback.” When she showed it to me, I was a bit skeptical that it would work, but she proceeded to slay the grayling for the next few hours. I was sold, and I’ve since used the pattern to catch all manner of salmonids, from Maine to Montana. It’s one of those dry-fly patterns that you can also strip below the surface to great effect.
In this great how-to video from Tightline Productions, Tim Flagler shows just how easy it is to tie a Crackleback. The key is to ensure that the hackle cants forward, and Tim explains exactly how to make that happen. Twist up a few of these and keep them in your box for those times when nothing else is working.
Hook: Standard dry-fly hook (here, a Dai-Riki #300), sizes 12-16.
Thread: Rusty brown, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Back: Peacock herl.
Hackle: Furnace or brown.
Body: Cream rabbit-fur dubbing.
Head: Tying thread.
4 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie the Crackleback”
Mr. Story created the Crackleback using dubbing, but later switched to turkey rounds when the color dubbing he used was no longer available. The turkey rounds make for a nice even body and still have a fuzzy finish.
The best go-to lly in the Midwest.
Awesome fly, weather fished dry or fished with an intermediate sinking line. Instead of peacock hurl, try holographic tinsel in green or blue, I have added a glass bead on the head to get it down also. I have fished this fly from AR to MT and it always works!
Tarted up woolly worm. 😉 One of my favorites when I was starting out.