TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By bones72
#2288426
Stopped at a fly shop sort of in my area. I was hoping fly shops were different in Texas, Texas is the friendliest state in the Union next to Kansas where friendliness borders on creepy sometimes, but not so much. Oh well. Did pick up a few supplies and got to tying again today.
I had always seen crab flies for redfish, so I got after it. I haven't been able to find some of the yarns or the right/the colors I want EP fibers, so I used some ice fur I had on hand together with some emerger yarn. Seemed to produce the same effect. Crabs, at least for me are not a quick tie. Also tied a few Kwan/Texas Toad style flies. Colors were ginger and dark brown on toads and crabs are olive with some baitfish blue EP fiber highlight. Weighted the crabs with small nickel/black dazzle eyes and the toads with large bead chain. Tomorrow will probably be a mono eye making day went through what I had done up.
I guess I was wondering if anyone else tied and fished the patterns I tied up today. The toad style flies seemed popular for the Texas coast from what I have seen. Crab flies seemed to be more popular towards Florida, but I was bored so tried something new. I guess I better figure out the Tappatalk thing so I can start getting some pictures up.
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By karstopo
#2288457
I’ve barely tied and fished any crabs. I once did a few small size 8 Merkin Crabs. I had it in my mind a small, dark Merkin would work for sheepshead, but that didn’t work out like I hoped. I’ve done better with sheepshead using borski sliders.

I’m usually using something more along the lines of shrimp suggestive flies and little baitfish suggestion types. Redfish that I’ve cleaned and looked at their stomach contents often have small blue crabs pieces in there. Occasionally, fiddlers and mud crabs in the stomach guts, too.

Redfish seem to go bonkers for fiddler crabs when the tides let them get to the little crustaceans. I have always imagined a black bodied, perhaps with a little purple eyelash yard or a purple estaz under body and light tan barred tailed redfish crack looks like a fleeing male fiddler crab, large claw extended. The redfish have never said why they like that color combination so I can’t confirm my hunch.

I guess I haven’t been “sold” on the crab patterns like kwans or merkins as much as some other types, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work well.
By bones72
#2288460
I went with a size #4 so probably little big. Waiting on some supplies to get here in the mail and then the I'm gonna start churning out the crack flies. I ordered stuff to do them with a tan tail and an olive/rust brush and some stuff to do some purple/black ones on a #4 Mustad 34007. Got to thinking about spoon flies as well and ordered stuff to do some silver ones in #2.
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By Ron Mc
#2288466
I use size 6 most often, Tiemco 811S for most salt flies, and even go to 4x-long size 6 where others would use a size 2.
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By karstopo
#2288476
I like size 4 hooks in general for inshore saltwater. Redfish crack, I tend to do on Gamakatsu SC-15 size 2 hooks. Those are a very thin wired forged plated carbon steel hook and tiny, short shanked hooks for a size 2, but the hook gap is pretty large. I also tie redfish crack on size 2 and 4 Mustad big game light hooks, which feature heavier wire. The Borski slider I do on size 4 Gamakatsu SL-45 Bonefish hooks, a black finished, forged carbon steel hook and not a big hook. Your crabs on size 4 hooks will likely do great. I only did the size 8 crab, on varivas stainless, because I thought maybe the sharped eyed, small mouthed sheepshead might respond better to something smallish. There seems to be a wide variety of what can work on fly patterns. A lot of people including me fall into a groove or rut of using the same things over and over, but the same old thing varies from person to person.

I've used clousers, deceivers, bendbacks, seaducers, Avalon permit flies, EP shrimp, Ep and Steve Farrar blend baitfish, Casey Smartt Dead Head Minnows, Casey Smartt Shrimp, EP shrimp, Disco Shrimp, Gurglers, VIP poppers, spoon flies, even woolly buggers, among others and that doesn't even scratch the surface of what's available to buy or tie.

The whole redfish crack thing probably took off with me likely because I had a good initial outing or two with one. Same for the Borski slider. That's usually how it works. I tied up some VIP poppers and got three straight rejections of three sighted slot redfish in a span of just a few minutes. The redfish nudged the poppers, but would not eat them. Do you think I reach for a VIP popper very often? How about the EP shrimp? I saw them on a video and they looked great so I tied up a few. For whatever reason, I couldn't set the hook well with those., so they get put on the bench.

The thing is that a person can only fish one fly or possibly two at a time if you do a tandem rig. I have been in a lot of fish and tied on another pattern to see if it's the fly or the fish. One time in the late fall, redfish were hugging a marsh drain edge and getting the last of the shrimp washing out. I tried a shrimp pattern and redfish crack and those worked well, but only had spotty success with a woolly bugger.
By bones72
#2288479
So size #6? Good to know. I've just been gleaning what I can off of internet searches, they've pointed me to #2 and #4 hooks. I used some #6 Umpqua U402 for some grass/ghost shrimp and for some clousers. I found myself gravitating to the smaller sizes for trout and walleye in Colorado (for pike I couldn't hardly get big enough). What's the reasoning for the smaller sizes in the salt? Just less of a profile or?
By bones72
#2288481
I understand the rut. In Kentucky I only used maybe one or two different flies on each body of water I fished, I found my box expanding with slight tweaks to the same old patterns on the more pressured water in Colorado. I expanded a little and it worked but found myself going to the same small high mountain trickles that had less finicky brookies and cutthroat.

Like I said this has all been internet searches for what is supposed to work "here". Of course going off the internet a trip to any bay or canal by the coast should yield plenty of reds and trout. I'm finding out it is more important to find the fish than to pick the pattern. The information you and Ron have provided is proved to more valuable than anything I have read on guide sites or on the other boards. Great proof Texas is still a friendly state no matter how much it has changed since I was here last.

Funny you should mention the wooly bugger. I wonder how many fish have been landed on that venerable old fly; a fly that is often scoffed at by "veteran" fly fisherman. Probably as many as deer taken by the equally as venerably and now maligned .30-30.
By The Angler
#2288662
At this point, I still really enjoy tying flies, and fishing new flies. So far, many of them have been working, and once I know they’ll work I’ll put them in my box and try to find something else that works. Sometimes the go-to flies get snubbed. Sometimes the cruising fish wants anything, while the tailing fish has his eyes elsewhere beneath the grass. I like flies that catch everything, but I also like having flies specific to a certain situation, or species. On any given day, I may run into a variety of different species, from a seatrout to big jack crevalle;my box tends to have the ability to adapt to those situations. If ever I run into a situation where my fly was lacking, you can bet I’ll be on the tying bench tying something to fit that niche.
You may fish the same flat, or marsh day after day and never have the same experience twice, yet the fly will always be the same. Everyone has their favorite flies, and many of them are completely different; the only thing that remains is the anglers confidence.

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Here’s a new pattern I’ve not yet tried. Tied in the same fashion as Veverka’s mantis shrimp, for the most part. Size 4 with mini dumbbell to get down. I fish crabs with either a slow crawl strip, or a strip and pause for a slow sinking, swimming crab. My preference for crab patterns is bare sand, or mud.
So far, I haven’t enjoyed tying toads with EP fibers. I’m going to try with some yarn to see if if I like that way better.

Welcome to TKF
By bones72
#2288668
Toads are kinda tuff for me to keep neat. Ice fur worked pretty well, I actually preferred the EP fibers. Ice fur was definitely much easier to do merkin style crabs. Like you I really enjoy tying and experimenting. I did some more crabs today based on the sandbar crab I saw on Sandbar Flies.
Last edited by bones72 on Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By karstopo
#2288688
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aoLMhYl2izg

Some Crabs appear to check both the shrimp and crab boxes.

The Ragin’ Craven in the link above might be an example. Looks like a nice pattern, I haven’t tied one, though.

Has anyone tried or tied the Avalon Permit Fly? Is it a crab or a shrimp? It had beads that click when stripped, a rattle of sorts. I tied a few and fished them. They do work. ImageImage
By bones72
#2288696
That permit fly looks great, love the way bunny moves in the water. Charlie Craven is a pretty awesome tyer and all around good guy. His shop in Arvada Co. has some ( a bunch of my money). Been doing spoon flies today, What a pain in the, well you know.
By The Angler
#2288747
[quote="karstopo"]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aoLMhYl2izg

Some Crabs appear to check both the shrimp and crab boxes.

The Ragin’ Craven in the link above might be an example. Looks like a nice pattern, I haven’t tied one, though.

Has anyone tried or tied the Avalon Permit Fly? Is it a crab or a shrimp? It had beads that click when stripped, a rattle of sorts. I tied a few and fished them. They do work. ImageImage[/

The Avalon fly looks like a killer redfish fly. To me, it looks like a crab, but it probably fishes better as a shrimp; it does have the elements of a shrimp- legs, antennae, the pulsating properties of the rabbit strip, even the color leans shrimp.
I do like ambiguous flies that imitate more than one type of forage species ; More so, I like flies that catch a multitude of game species. Have you thrown the fly at anything else? If it can fool a permit, I’m pretty sure it could fool most anything right?
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By karstopo
#2288750
It’s been a while since I fished the Avalon. I only remember fishing it to sighted redfish and no other types of fish. The things I remember about the pattern are that it can be prone to foul if the rabbit strips extend too long and it’s a bit heavier than I tend to like, especially as the rabbit soaks up water and gets waterlogged. The rabbit strips can easily be shortened as necessary post tie.

There’s has to be a time where I structure fished with the Avalon, I just can’t remember anything specific.

https://www.flyfisherman.com/editorial/ ... fly/151697

The link is the article on fly with tying instructions. The photo of the fly at the top of the page always has bugged me as the rabbit strips are not consistent with one being backwards. I think I substituted some glass beads on a couple of the ones I tied for the metal ones in the recipe. I didn’t use the Tiemco 811S hook specified or probably the 140 denier thread. I used orange barred marabou instead of the arctic fox. I have orange arctic fox, but wanted to perfect the tie before I got into using my very limited fox supply.

I could see myself tying and using it again. I’m not burning through any flies at the moment. I’ve fished the saltwater the least amount this year in well over a decade. A million little things have kept me off the water, death by a thousand cuts.
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By Do It
#2289922
This is a pattern I tied while held up in the house during the rains of hurricane Harvey. It’s a mutation of a couple of different flies I’ve tied and although it doesn’t look like a crab it is intended to imitate a small blue crab. It has caught reds in the Aransas area.
D.
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By bones72
#2289933
Do It those are awesome looking flies. Is that bucktail for the wing and did you weave the chenille or just use a marker for the two toned effect?
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By Do It
#2290203
Off white chenille and olive marker. The wing is pieces of rabbit zonker cut from the hide strip. Wrap tie in rabbit tuft, wrap tie in rabbit tuft, repeat. If memory serves me correct I believe those were size 6.
D.


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