Thank you for visiting our fly tying blog! Here you will find free step-by-step instructions for fly patterns that we have found to be very successful while fishing on the Tributaries of Lake Erie known as " Steelhead Alley." You will also be able to see step-by-step instructions for warm water, tube, trout, and destinational fly patterns. If you would like to request a pattern tutorial that you do not see,please send requests to

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mike Decoteau's Red Spot Craw-Bit

The rivers in the Columbus area are loaded with crayfish. With each step in the river, tens if not hundreds of these critters of varying sizes scurry for cover. It only makes sense that the resident fish have a steady diet of these guys. This fly, the Red Spot Craw-Bit, rides point up and is best fished down on the river bottom. It is heavy enough that only a float line and long leader is needed in shallow water, or for deeper water a sink tip line matched to the water depth is best.

Hook: Gamakatsu B10S size 6
Thread: 6/0 Rusty Brown Uni-Thread
Weight: Lead Eyes size X-small
            and .035 Lead wire
Flash: Fire Fly Tye, Green
Claws: Dyed Rabbit Strips, Chartreuse/Orange
            or Hareline Black Barred Crawfish Orange
Body: Orange Deer Body Hair
           Orange Rabbit Dubbing
Rib: Chartreuse Copper wire size BR
Legs: Sili Legs, Pumpkin/Black Fleck
Shell Back: Tan Furry Foam

The olive version in the photo below has been particularly effective in these parts...

STEP 1: Tie onto the hook shank and secure the X-small lead eye to the top of the shank back near the bend. Leave enough room to the bend to tie the claws in.

STEP 2: Tie in 3 strands of Fire Fly Tye flash (or flashabou) in at the bend, fold the tag ends back and tie over. Trim the six strands to about 3/4" long. Take 1/2" long piece of .035 lead wire and  fold it in half. Tie it in as shown above. This is optional, but it does make for a smooth transition in the body.

STEP 3: Trim two pieces of barred rabbit about 3/4" long on the skew. Each claw should have the same angle cut on each end, but opposite from the other claw as shown above. This makes for a neat and secure tie in point. Tie these in on top of the hook shank one at a time (vise position above is rotated 90 degrees to illustrate the tie in point).

STEP 4: Invert the hook so that the point is up. Tie in the copper wire on the underside of the shank. Select a small bunch of orange deer body hair and tie in with the tips extending beyond the hook bend about 1/4". Trim the butt ends before lashing down and secure leaving an eye length of bare shank to the eye.

STEP 5: Cut a strip of tan furry foam that is a little wider than 1/4" and about an inch long. Tie this in at the bend (hook point is still up). Tie in two sets of sili legs on the body so that they are slanted toward the eye. This prevents fouling.

STEP 6: Working from the bend to the eye, dub the body with orange dyed rabbit dubbing.

STEP 7: Fold the furry foam forward toward the eye and take a couple thread wraps around it just behind the eye. Reverse wrap the copper wire toward the eye to segment the body and to make the fly durable. Tie off the wire under the flap of furry foam at the eye and whip finish. Trim the furry foam leaving about a 1/4" tail hanging over the eye. You can add spots at this point with a Sharpie or Prismacolor marker. Zap-A-Gap the thread head and toss it to the bronze ones…

If you have questions about this fly that were not addressed in the tutorial, please feel free to contact me at More of my work can be viewed at:

Mike Decoteau