Last week's report mentioned a ginger crackleback that was really a wooly. I got enough questions and grilling on this one that I went to the source and am reprinting a blog by the late Ed Story, legendary angler and creator of the crackleback, where he tells how to tie a 'real' crackleback. Ed Story was the original owner of the St. Louis based fly shop, Feather-Craft.
This was from the Ozarkflyfishers web site. I found it very interesting and (for me) educational.
I also approached one of our local tiers to make some for us to see (and sell) in our store.
Without question, the CRACKLEBACK is the most popular fly from my personally developed collection of trout fly patterns. I have been tying the pattern since the late 1950's. It’s a take-off from a popular wet-woolly of the time, tied with a chenille body and a natural raffia pulled over the back, full length of the hook-shank. In the early 1960's I named the fly after a bass plug made by Bill Walters of Jasonville, Ind. It too had a pale olive body with a crinkly-green back."
Ed Story…Feather-Craft Corp.
Hook: Mustad 94840 (size #10 - original) or TMC 5210
Thread: Danville 6/0 pre-waxed, color #100 black
Hackle: India Furnace saddle hackle, or Furnace neck hackle for the small sizes
Crackle Back: Two strands of Peacock Herl
Body: SPECTRUM #20 pale olive
[Note: Now tied with various shades of yellow-olive dubbing or goose quill]
Original Tying Instructions:
1. Tie the thread in and run it to the end of the hook-shank.
2. Select a long narrow India "furnace saddle hackle. Size and prepare it, then tie it in at the end of the end (sic) of the hook-shank,
dull-side facing you.
3. Tie in 2-strands of peacock herl at the end of the hook-shank...and tie them in so they are on-top of the end of the hook-shank.
4. The thread is still at the end of the hook shank and we are now going to dub with SPECTRUM. You will see that SPECTRUM
is a continuous synthetic, very soft fiber. Other body materials can be used with the latest being turkey quill.
5. Tease off from the hank a sparse continuous piece (strand). You now should have a sparse strand of SPECTRUM a little over
two inches long.
6. Lay the SPECTRUM piece under the thread close to the hook-shank and with moistened fingers roll the end close to the hook
shank onto the thread. Roll it in one direction only. The balance of the strand is hanging loose.
7. Where it’s now rolled on the thread.. push it up to the hook shank, and using your bobbin, make two thread wraps around the
hook shank.. locking the SPECTRUM to the end of the hook-shank.
8. With your E-Z MINI Hackle PLIER, grab the other end of the SPECTRUM-STRAND and the thread AT THE SAME TIME.
Firmly hold the bobbin out to your chest, making a shaft of the thread.
9. Spin the E-Z MINI-HACKLE PLIER COUNTER-CLOCKWISE (like a propeller) around the thread. Instantly you have a fly
body spin-dubbed on the thread.
10. Now pinch the SPECTRUM and thread with your left hand fingers, while you remove the hackle-plier and shift the "pinched"
thread and new fly body to your right (tying-hand).
11. Wrap the now dubbed fly body on the hook shank and up to just behind the hook-eye. Tye it in with a few thread wraps. Cut
12. Lay the two strands of peacock herl over the top of the fly body and tye in behind the hook eye. Do not pull the peacock strands
to (sic) tight as we are going to wrap the hackle over them. Leave a tiny amount of slack in the herl.
13. Palmer-wrap the furnace saddle hackle forward in wide-wraps so plenty of fly body color shows thru the wraps. And notice
because we used a furnace hackle, the fly body automatically has a black rib. Tye the hackle in just behind the hook-eye, finish
the fly head and whip-finish.
Club member Joseph Aimonette says that any Crackleback not tied using the original or similar materials and colors is not really a
Crackleback. This look-a-like fly is really a dry woolly. Whether it is called a Crackleback or a dry woolly, a good variation of the
Crackle back is tied with a green holographic body and a palmered grizzly hackle. It is tied similar to the Crackleback and fished in
the same manner. Joe calls this variation the Green Ghost.
Fishing the Fly - "...Dress the fly with silicone-gel and fished as a "dry" as intended. If the fly sinks in fast water, it’s simply
"skipped" under the surface with the rod tip. On the next cast, it'll float again. Frankly, this is the method used by most fly fishers.
Fish it as a dry, if you don't get a hit jerk the fly under and skip it along with your rod tip."
Zones 1 & 2
Brassies, assorted colors, red or olive green are especially good.
possum fur roach
black zebra midge
copper weaver, black
blue holographic, ginger, orange with brown hackle crackleback
white or brown san juan worm - fished deep
pheasant tail nymph
marabou, pink & white, white, red & white
Balls of Fire salmon eggs
rainbow power bait
trout magnet light orange mini worms
Color continues to be clear. Water running slowly.
Gage house level is 1.84 feet
September 10, 2014
minimum 66 in 1937
Current level is 80
25th percentile is 96
Median is 121
Mean is 124
75th percentile is 140
Max was 246 in 1994
September 10, 2014
Gage House reading is 1.55
minimum was 17 in 1996
25th percentile is 35
Today's (September 10) reading is 44
Median is 56
Mean is 122
75th percentile is 115
Max was 570 in 2007
Jeanine Beach from Nevada, MO
2-1/2 pounds on yellow power bait in the river
Ralph Chrismer from Imperal MO
2-1/4 pounds on a white grub in zone 1
Austin Wiekhorst from Scottsbluff NE
2 pounds, 2 ounces on a tinsel jig in zone 1
Jake Schaefer from ST. Louis, MO
4.5 pounds on a yellow & black marabou in zone
Calendar of Events
September 16-17 moss cutting
October 11 - Holland Derby
October 14-15 moss cutting
October 31 - last day of regular trout season
November 14 first day of Catch & Release Season
February 9, 2015 - Catch and Release season ends
Thursday: A 10 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 7am. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 72. North wind 7 to 9 mph.
Friday: A 30 percent chance of showers after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 67. North wind 6 to 10 mph.
Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 66.
Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 72.
Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 75.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 75.
Quote of the Week
I get all the truth I need in the newspaper every morning, and every chance I get I go fishing, or swap stories with fishermen to get the taste of it out of my mouth.
Author: Ed Zern
Thanks for reading! Lucy