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Electric Cricket
By Richard A. Lewis

The "Electric Cricket" fly pattern was developed and tested over the summer of 2004. This Cricket has the look and feel of a large Field Cricket. It even sounds realistic as it is slapped down onto the surface of the water. The "Electric Cricket" was designed to be a floating, highly visible terrestrial pattern that casts well using a medium weight trout fly rod. The "Electric Cricket" gets an "electric" moniker through the use of a prismatic lens on the underside of the cricket's body.

When fished along side of hoppers the same size, the "Electric Cricket" drew noticeably more savage strikes unlike the takes on the hoppers of various styles. The bigger trout seem to hit the "Electric Cricket" with reckless abandon. I have a notion that the cricket's silhouette in combination with the "electric" fire on the belly triggers these attacks. The "Electric Cricket" pattern is very effective and will add fish to your catch - most likely big fish!

Materials List Electric Cricket:

      Hook: Daiichi 1280 Size #8, or any quality, 2X-Long, 1-X Fine, Dry Fly Hook.

      Thread: UNI-Stretch 1X-300 Black yarn.

      Cricket body: Rainy's Black Medium Float Foam (round, coiled).

      Wing: Black Polyimide Film-2 Mil, or substitute using Tyvek film colorized black with a marker, or use other black films: such as black, heavy gage plastic drop cloth or Black Mylar.

      Jumping Legs: Crazy Legs or other suitable terrestrial style legs.

      Walking Legs: Perfect Rubber brand black rubber strands.

      Antenna/Cerci: Hollow "Bio Fiber" dyed Black, or substitute two Moose Mane hairs, or course waxed thread such as Kevlar.

      Prismatic Lens: Lateral Scale Flashabou-Pearl.

      Liquids and Adhesives:

    • Zap CA, Super Thin

    • Loon UV Knot Sense, or substitute 5-Minute Epoxy.

    • 5-Minute Epoxy.

    • Fluorescent Dye, Holographic Glitter or Hi-Viz colorant of choice.

      Special Tools/Safety Equipment:

    • Vise: Rotary Tying vise, such as the Dyna-King "Barracuda Indexer."

    • UV Curing Lamp/UV Flashlight/UV Pocket light.

      Alternative: The Sun (mandates daytime tying process steps).

    • Orange UV Filtering Goggles (UV Light can damage vision).

    • Single Edge Razor Blade-Unused.

    • Curved Scissors.

    • Long Needle Nose Pliers.

    Note: Most of the materials needed for tying the "Electric Cricket" are available from fly shops. The black polyamide film for the wing and the hollow "Bio Fiber" for the antenna are specialty materials. You will likely need to use substitute materials for these as noted. UV filtering Goggles can be purchased from a safety equipment supplier or your Optometrist.

    Step One(1) Prepare the foam body.

    Start by sectioning the coiled Float Foam to provide a fly body measuring 1-inch in length. Use curved scissors to trim the ends to a point.

    Trim the tail end of the fly body with two scissor cuts.

    Important Note: The short section taken from the coil will have a slight curvature. Orient the foam segment relative to this "curve" while fashioning the fly body as shown.

    Cut a shallow hook slot into the bottom (convex) side of the fly foam body. Pinch and grip the fly body wedge between your fingers and carefully execute this controlled depth cut using a sharp (new) single edge blade. The hook slot is centered on the body.

    Position the hook in Float Foam body. The hook is set just below the surface of the foam. The front-end of the foam body is located one hook eye length behind the hook eye.

    Inject a small amount of Zap CA Super Thin adhesive into the hook slot. It only takes a drop or two. The adhesive will quickly wick along the entire length of the hook shaft.

    Working quickly, align the hook vertically in the hook slot and then clamp the foam body closed using long nose Needle Nose Pliers. Pinch the foam closed over the top of the hook shaft. Hold the foam closed for approximately 10-12 seconds. Note the Hook Gap.

    Step Two (2) - Attaching the Legs & Antenna.

    Start the UNI-Stretch behind the hook eye. Using very little pressure, loosely criss-cross the UNI-Stretch along the foam body. Make four (4) equally spaced X's. Take a few additional wraps at the front edge of the head.

    Apply a few drops of ZAP CA Super Thin adhesive at several locations along the yarn wraps. The UNI-Stretch will amazingly wick the CA adhesive all around the foam body. This capillary bonding step secures the foam to the hook and provides a foundation for tying the rest of the fly. Only apply enough adhesive to wet-out the yarns.

    Advance the thread and attach the pair of Crazy Legs to the foam body using a minimum number of wraps. You need to conserve weight in order to keep the fly buoyant.

    Fold a Six-inch long (6") strand of antenna material in half making a loop. Orient the looped end forward and the loose ends evenly aligned and extending 1 inch behind the foam body. Secure the loop with two loose wraps of yarn. If using Moose Mane, then add two each, 3 inch long hairs side-by-side.

    Cut two (2) 1-Inch long strands of black "Perfect Rubber" leg material for use as crawling legs. Locate these legs low along each side of the foam body. Adjust position to make the rear crawling leg a little longer than the front leg. Apply enough pressure with the yarn to splay the legs outwards as shown without crushing the foam body.

    Adjust the legs and antenna into their final positions and secure the yarn build-up with a few more drops of ZAP CA adhesive.

    Snip the loop to separate the antennae filaments.

    3. Making and Attaching the Wing. Cut a 1 Inch square piece of wing material and fold it in half. Permanently crease the film. Using curved scissors, rough trim the wing in the general shape shown above.

    Trim the rough-cut wing pattern into a wing with smooth edges and the above shape.

    Position wing so that the narrow front portion sits on top of the head. The wider section of the wing should nest inside of the Crazy Legs as shown. Trim the wing as required to fit. The rear portion of the wing should extend approximately one-half (") inch beyond the end of the foam body. Secure the wing with a few loose wraps of yarn.

    Bond the yarn wraps with a drop of ZAP CA. Allow the adhesive to harden somewhat. Trim the yarn flush under tension using the single edge razor blade. Pat down any loose yarn fibers into the semi-cured CA adhesive.

    Place a single drop of ZAP CA on the face of the foam wedge. Using your fingers, lightly pinch the wing onto the wetted face and hold until set. Repeat on the opposite side.

    Bonding the wing to the rear of the foam body forms the realistic tapered shape of a cricket's body. Additionally, the secured wing is now stabilized to withstand the rigors of fly-casting. Trim the Cerci evenly as required to extend slightly aft of the wing.

    Step Four (4) - Making and Attaching the Prismatic lens.

    Section a single strand of Lateral Scale Flashabou-Pearl to provide a piece approximately -inch long. Trim the ends into points as shown.

    Invert the fly in your vise and apply a single drop of UV Knot Sense to the underside of the foam body. You may alternately use 5 Minute Epoxy if you are not set-up for using the light activated, instant adhesives. Use a bodkin to spread the adhesive evenly along the hook shaft area of the foam underbody. You need to apply a thin even layer of adhesive. Prevent it from running down along the sides of the fly.

    Locate the prismatic reflective material as shown and use your bodkin to center the "lens" on the bond area. Press the lens down into the adhesive and flash cure it in position using a UV Cure lamp. Note: Protective Eye Wear Recommended when using UV Lamps.

    Overcoat the top surface of the prismatic reflective material with an addition thin layer of UV Knot Sense adhesive and cure it. The Prismatic lens will capture small amounts of light from varying angles. This effect creates a very active, fish attracting display of light as the fly floats and moves upon the surface of the water. This lens material, which is based upon diffraction gradient holography, begets the name "Electric Cricket".

    5. The finishing touch- Adding a High Visibility Head.

    There are several ways to make this black cricket pattern have more visibility on the water. I like to use 5 Minute Epoxy mixed with a touch of fluorescent dye. Alternative "Hi-Viz" treatments include using a holographic glitter mixed with epoxy. Another method is to use Day-Glo paints in place of the epoxy in treating the front face of the fly.

    Mix your Hi-Viz material of choice and apply it to the face of the Float Foam body using a bodkin. Control the flow of the material until it has set. It helps to hold the fly in a vertical position. Your "Electric Cricket" is now completed.

    Fishing Tips:

    I throw the "Electric Cricket" with a fast action, 5 WT fly rod on a weight forward floating fly line. I like using a furled leader and moderately short tippet to help the fly turnover. I normally use a 3X fluoro tippet on terrestrials this big. Make the fly presentation known to the fish. Pitch it with vigor towards a likely fish-holding area; or better yet, directly to a fish. If the fly is not hit immediately, then a few twitches and pauses are all that will be needed to draw a strike if that fish is feeding. I would recommend pinching down the barb of the hook to aide in releasing your catch. ~ Richard A. Lewis (FlyMaker)


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


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