Although I don’t fish with super realistic patterns, I do enjoy tying them every now and then. If you are starting from scratch, as I did with this crayfish, it takes a little time to actually work out the fundamentals, scale, hook size, proportions, materials and techniques.
I always start with a morphology image from the visual dictionary, this gives you the basic shape, scale, body segment and leg count. Once this is established I select the materials and then try and plan the correct order to put them together. This can be rather like building a piece of IKEA furniture without the instructions, you get half way and realize that you have left something out! and have to start again.
But for those of you that would like to have a go, I have photographed each step of this pattern, trying not to miss anything out and explaining each stage as I go. Although it looks complicated, its not difficult, but does take some time. You can tie it in stages tie up the legs one day, the claws another etc. So give it a go!
If you have any questions post them in the comments box at the foot of the article and i will try and answer them ASAP.
1 Cover the hook shank with a foundation of tying thread
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Born in England, Barry Ord Clarke is an internationally acclaimed and much published photographer, author and fly tyer. His own flies can be seen in the legendary ‘Fly Fishers Club’ collection, in London and the ‘Catskill master fly tyer collection’ in the United States.
For the past 28 years he has lived in Norway where he works as a professional photographer and a fly tying consultant for the Mustad Hook Company and Veniard Ltd. His successful YouTube channel ‘The Feather Bender’ has 43,000 subscribers.
Barry Ord Clarke voted US Fly Tyer Magazine’s Fly Tyer of the Year 2021.
The prestigious award honours the exceptional international contribution Barry has made to the world of fly tying with his innovative approach of linking his clear step-by-step tying instructions in book-form to his popular YouTube channel ‘The Feather Bender’ videos which then show him tying EXACTLY the same fly online. This ground-breaking ‘pairing’ is a first in the world of fly tying instruction.
A renowned photographer in his own right, his tying images are crystal clear, minimalist and stylish. His approachable attitude and innovative tying techniques have encouraged thousands of beginners to take up the hobby in the first place or more experienced tyers to up their game.
His most recent two books, The Feather Benders Fly Tying Techniques and Flytying for Beginners, pub. Merlin Unwin Books, are out now and already gaining plaudits from around the world. Fly Tying for Beginners, will also be published in the USA by Skyhorse Publishing in Autumn 2022.
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7 thoughts on “Crayfish Master class.”
Nice-looking cray! It looks time-consuming but fun to tie. My wonder is where I find this thickness of foam.. Thanks!
Thanks, The foam I use for the shell back is just regular fly box foam. You should be able to pick this up at most good tackle stores!
Great work Barry! I can’t imagine the work you put into the development of this ‘lure’. I can only dream of making much less creating a piece like this. Thank you for sharing your ideas and technique.
Thanks for the comment, it does take some time to tie, but its fun to tie.
excellent dressing, thanks for sharing barry
This is a work of art. Brilliant result.
Thank you, pleased you enjoyed it.
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