Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2 . Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
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Crayfish Fly Patterns and Much More
Continuing with Sir Hugo's Questions:
Question #2: Your crayfish is based on Ed Story’s FC Crayfish with modern
Rabbit skin pinchers (might be Oliver Edwards pattern?). Have you used it for
Brook Trout in the GSMNP or is the water In most headwaters too fast to use
How often do you fish a crayfish pattern in the smokies? Ever Fish crayfish in
First you mention that my crayfish fly pattern is based on Ed Story's FC Crayfish
with modern Rabbit skin pinchers (might be Oliver Edwards pattern). It's neither of
the above. It is my own fly pattern. All of the Perfect Fly patterns are my own fly
patterns. We do sell other non-Perfect Fly generic, fly shop type flies, but only to
show that we can sell flies as low priced as anyone, Although our non-Perfect Fly
flies are as of as high a quality as any on the market, we don't recommend generic
flies. We only offer them to customers who want to use them and we do so at a very
low price. Anyone that looks at the details and difference in our Perfect Flies and
the normal generic fly shop flies can easily see why Perfect Flies cost more. It's very
I cannot find Mr. Story's pattern on the web or in his Feather-Craft store, so I cannot
comment on the similarity. Oliver Edwards has influenced our Perfect Fly design as
much as anyone. I have of his of his videos and written information. Shane Stalcup
is another fly tyer that has always impressed me. We have all his videos and his fine
book. There are many others. We think Dave Whitlock has done well with fly
patterns over the years.
You asked if I use the crayfish fly for brook trout and if headwater streams are too
fast for it. No, I do not use it for brook trout. If I did, I would need a much smaller
hook size than what we sell for bass and large brown trout. I don't think the
headwaters are too fast for a crayfish fly but I do think there are far, fewer crayfish
in the headwaters than there are in the lower elevation streams. They have much
less food in the headwaters. You will find they get more heavily populated in the
lowest sections of the streams where the water begins to become marginal for trout.
I feel certain that if you had a small crayfish fly, you could catch a brook trout on it
but I wouldn't recommend it for them in the Smokies.
We have caught some larger, northern strain brook trout in the lakes and streams
of Maine and New Hampshire using crayfish fly patterns. Also in the Wolf River in
Minnesota. It was one stream that seems to be full of crayfish. These experiences
were well before we developed our own flies. It's also a completely different type of
water and brook trout. I believe we used Shane Stalcup's small crayfish fly he calls a
baby crab or similar name fly in those cases.
We have noticed a good population of crayfish in the lower elevation streams of the
Smokies. We also believe the large brown trout eat them, especially the small,
young ones. If you notice, we also have a Crayfish egg layer fly pattern. Writing this
is getting to be funny to me. Every time I have tried to type crayfish, it came out
crawfish. That's what we always called them and is a common name in the South,
especially in Louisiana.
Our Perfect Fly Brown Crayfish
Our Brown and White Perfect Fly Crayfish *Egg Pattern". It is also for fishing deeper
water. It has lead dumbbell eyes.
Click Here For The Details On the Above Flies
You also ask how often I fished a crayfish pattern in the Smokies. The answer is
very little, but I should fish it more often. It has a deadly use for those who don't care
about the fish. Spawning brown trout try to destroy it according to two different
customers who have purchased the fly from us. We list this fly under our Bass
section of the website and that's what it is used for most often. In both cases, we
thanked them for the information and also let them know we didn't approve of that
type of fishing. That wasn't a very smart marketing move but it's how we feel about
it. I should also mention, we are working on a new smaller crayfish fly but haven't
decided on all the details at this time.
I should also mention another thing about our Perfect Fly patterns that I have never
mentioned to anyone other than in conversation with a few people. I didn't follow
the normal, standard, or whatever you want to call it "procedures" in
coming up with new fly patterns. To the best of my knowledge, all the fly
patterns existing other than our Perfect Flies, were conceived, designed and tied by
fly tyers. I have never quite understood why, although it's easy for me to see how it
turned out that way.
I came up in engineering and later became a Industrial and Commercial General
Contractor. Architects and engineers design buildings. Design engineers design
automobiles "up until, we the people or the "US Gov" started designing them". (my
joke for the day). With the help of many others, James Marsh designed Perfect Flies.
I have a difficult time tying flies. I can do it but it's difficult because of a rather rare
neurological disease I have called CIDP. For the past ten years or so, I have had to
take large doses of steroids to exist. That makes me shake much of the time, far to
much to tie flies well. The situation bothered me for a long time until I conceded that
it's better than the alternative. I designed most of the flies by making detailed
drawings. I also tied many of the flies for samples but it usually took forever. I also
had a few other fly tyers tie some according to my design and instructions for
samples according to my drawings and recipes. In some cases, the ladies that tie
my flies offered suggestions and helped. In many cases, I had to reject flies over
and over until I finally got what I wanted. In a few cases, this process of getting new
samples and making changes took as long as two years.
Along the way, a few good local fly tyers helped me. To give credit where credit is
due, Tim Doyle, a local fly tyer and guide helped me solve one of the biggest
problems I had with our mayfly dun fly patterns. This was on the smaller duns but he
also solved a big one on the extended tail Drakes. He is the fly tyer on our two fly
tying DVD. I had a big problem getting the split, hen feather wings to stand up
separated and set back from a vertical position at a slight angle like real mayfly
wings. I only use parachute style hackle because it imitates the legs of a mayfly far
better than vertically wound hackle. I could not find any existing fly that
accomplished that out of the very few that had upright, split wings. That aspect of
tying our Perfect Fly mayfly duns takes more time and work that tying the entire
average generic fly takes to tie from start to finish. When you twist the hackle on
around the weak stems of two tiny hen feathers, it also twist the feathers. Without
even thinking about it, Tim inserted a short, stiff section of material that's completely
hidden and solved the problem. He came up with a similar solution for our extended
Drake mayfly tails. Contractors and builders solve many problems for architects and
engineers. Fly tyers solved many problems for my fly designs.
I feel certain, numerous fly tyers will take offense to the way I think new fly patterns
should be originated. Although I have the had the help of many people, mostly the
help of my tyers who have tied flies for a living their entire life, I think I changed the
way fly patterns are orginated in a good way. Some of the methods the tyers came
up with for solutions to problems that accomplished what I put on paper as art is
unique and amazing. Just look at our stonefly nymphs, for example. Tell me
anywhere else you can purchase anything near that realistic, flexible, durable and
effective at any price. We receive compliments almost every day from anglers using
our flies just about everywhere fish exit. The typical comment is they are so natural
looking they fool the_____ out of fish.. Although many problems of my designs were
solved by the ladies that tie our flies, I had a problem of getting anyone to think out
of the box. Once they caught on to my way, it was amazing at the talent they
displayed and at what they could create on their own given the opportunity.
After all, fly tying isn't a big industry. It's something many anglers (about 35 percent
of all fly anglers) enjoy doing for themselves. From a commercial standpoint, it's
very difficult for anyone to make even a bare living from tying flies in this country.
Some guides tie them for shops in their off season time. But the majority of the flies
sold by fly shops and those sold on the web are tied in foreign countries. The two
largest wholesale companies that sell fly shops 90 percent of their flies have their
flies tied in foreign countries. They try their best to make it appear that the flies are
tied in the U. S., and also make it appear they are the flies of well known fly tyers.
Although the well known tyers may have developed the original fly pattern, they
don't actually tie the flies in ninety-nine percent of the cases..They are mostly tied in
Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa. For example, I don't think Dave Whitlock ties the
flies sold by Feather-Craft and many other fly shops that carry his patterns. I don't
think any of the flies sold by Holly Flies are tied in the U. S., and I believe they are
the largest wholesale distributor of flies to fly shops.
Copyright 2010 James Marsh
This is our third best selling
DVD. It is also growing more
popular as the days go by.
Our sells have gradually
increased since it was first
released. It has far more
information on mayflies than
any video of the subject. All
the major hatches from
coast to coast are covered
with details on how to fish
each stage of life of the
mayfly from the nymph to the