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Texas Crawdad By Richard Komar, Plano Texas

In America, they are Cambarus virilis and C. bartoni. In Europe, they are Astacus fluviatilis. To most species of freshwater fish, they are known as food! This freshwater crustacean is closely related to the saltwater lobster and lives in lakes and rivers on every continent except Africa and Antarctica.

In nature, crawdads come in a variety of color shades and sizes. Like nature, there are many variations of crawfish flies in existence.

The Texas Crawdad imitates the larger size crayfish, easy to tie, easy to cast and fun to fish. Let's tie some!

Materials Texas Crawdad:

    Hook: Mustad 33903, Size 1/0 or Equivalent.

    Thread: 3/0, Brown.

    Tail: Genetic Hen Feathers, Light Brown (Conranch).

    Body: Ice Chenille, Large, Root Beer.

    Eyes: Plastic Bead Chain, Gold.

    Weedguard: 15-20 lb Test Monofilament

    Claws: Genetic Hen Feathers, Light Brown (Conranch).

Tying the Texas Crawdad

1. Lay a thread base along the hook shank starting from hook eye, wrapping toward the hook bend. Secure a 6" length of monofilament along the shank and " down the bend for the weedguard.

2. Tie in a genetic hen feather at a 45-degree angle on top of the hook shank. Leave any "stray" barbs in place. They look like crawdad feelers or antennae.

3. Tie in the second claw at a similar 45-degree angle on top of the hook.

4. Advance the thread about " - " up the shank and tie in the eyes with a figure-eight wrap.

5. Tie in the ice chenille or exoskeleton starting at the hook eye, under the crawfish eyes, toward the bend. Spiral the thread back to the hook eye.

6. Wrap the ice chenille from the hook bend, under the eyes, toward the hook eye. Tie off the chenille and trim.

7. Pass the end of the monofilament weedguard up through the hook eye. Secure it with several thread wraps and trim the excess.

8. Attach a genetic hen feather (similar in color to the claws) to the UNDERSIDE of the hook eye. Secure with several thread wraps, whip finish and trim. Apply head cement if desired. Trim the ice chenille around the eyes to expose them.

How to Fish the Texas Crawdad:

The Texas Crawdad, tied on a size 1/0 hook, will be about 4" long and a perfect size for hungry largemouth bass. Smaller Crawdads tied in size 6 and 10 will do nicely for smaller bass, panfish and trout. Weight can easily be added to the hook shank and metal eyes can be substituted for the plastic variety for additional weight. The "humped" hook is preferred to aid in holding the exoskeleton in place.

The Texas Crawdad is best cast out and allowed to sink to or near the bottom. The weedguard will prevent many tangles. When the Crawdad is given a short tug, the tail will fold under the body and the claws will move up and down. This action mimics a real bayou bug as it moves backward to escape a hungry predator! Vary the retrieve with 2 or 3 short tugs in a row. Crayfish move erratically; especially when they will be eaten!

Don't be afraid to try different colors and sizes. Crawfish come in various shades and sizes and can vary widely from region to region. Have Fun! ~ Richard


About Richard:

Richard Komar is a hotwater flyfisher residing in Plano, Texas and is a member of the Dallas FlyFishers. Richard has done several other flies for Fly of the Week, The Hard-Hackle Spider, The Raptor, The Black Widow and Texas BullFrog. You can reach him at:

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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