Felt crab flies have been around for a long time.  I have always fished toad style flies, particularly the black toad for tailing red fish.  Earlier this summer, a client showed me a crab fly he tied.  We tied the fly onto the leader and he proceeded to catch 3 fish on the flood.
What impresses me about this fly is how gently it lands. I have seen this fly thrown inches from a fish, and the fish did not spook.
It is a great imitation of a fiddler crab.  My client’s original pattern included crab eyes.  I include them sometimes and other times not.  I don’t think it makes a difference for red fish.
Here is the recipe:

  1. Brown or black felt sheets from craft store
  2.  1/0 short shank hook.  This is an Owner AKI bait hook.
  3.   Small lead eyes
  4.   Tail material.  I used red fox tail, but use what you have.
  5.    Grizzly hackle for claws.
  6.  Orange maribou
  7.  Flash-whatever you like
  8. Super glue-or you can use hot melt.
  9.  Rubber legs
  10.  Mono for weed guard



Establish a good thread base.  Tie in lead eyes, tail and claws.



Tie in flash and egg sack.

Measure a strip of felt so it fits neatly between the base
of the tail and the back of the eye





Cut two pieces of felt to the correct size and shape



Invert the fly.  Using a drop or two of super glue, attach
the top of the fly to the thread base,
and place rubber legs on the fly.






crab flyPlace a few drops of super glue on the piece of felt. Carefully place and align the second piece of felt on the fly. Arrange the placement of the rubber legs.  Squeeze the top and bottom pieces of felt together.



Tie in mono weed guard, whip finish, color the felt with a sharpie if you like.  Then go throw it at some tailing red fish.