Crackleback Variation (Dry Fly)

From Halford's early dries to the Catskill dry and everything else that floats on the surface.
Post Reply
joaniebo
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:30 pm

Crackleback Variation (Dry Fly)

Post by joaniebo »

If I recall correctly, Ed Story's original Crackleback was tied to be used as a combination dry and wet fly. There's a YouTube video showing Mr. Story tying a Crackleback - for those interested in seeing an original Crackleback.

Quite a few years ago, I started tying a variation of the Crackleback and, although my variation might resemble a Crackleback in appearance, I think the only "original material" I use is a peacock herl spine on top of the dubbed body.

Why? Because, I fish this fly mainly as a dry fly (upstream) to both rising and non-rising fish and I use this fly as my go-to dry fly and fish it probably 90% of the time when I fish a dry fly.

As mentioned, I use peacock herl as the "spine" on top of the hook shank but use black Danville 8/0 thread; either Hareline's Pale Evening Dun (light olive) or Pale Morning Dun (light yellow) dry fly dubbing as the body; and brown saddle hackle. The brown saddle hackle is tied onto the hook with the inner (concave) side of the hackle facing away from the hook shank then 3 turns of hackle are made at the end of the hook shank and another 6 1/2 hackle turns made towards the hook eye before tying off / trimming the hackle and doing a double whip finish. If I tie in the hackle perfectly, as I do the first hackle turn at the hook bend, a small tail appears.

Originally, I used 2 hackle turns at the end of the hook shank and 5 1/2 hackle turns towards the eye of the hook but gradually increased the hackle turns to be 3 at the hook bend and 6 1/2 on the body. This greatly increased the floatation of the fly.

Many of the Cracklebacks that I've seen have the hackle tips pointing towards the back of the fly, probably because of it's use (sometimes) as a wet fly. But, my Cracklebacks have the hackle tips pointing towards the hook eye, which I believe helps the action of the fly as it drifts downstream on the surface of the water.

Although I tie these on size 12, 14 and 16 hooks (Daiichi #1990 barbless dry fly), I try to start each season with approx. 100 #14 Cracklebacks since I tend to give away a lot of them to my fishing buddies and fly fishing friends.

Lastly, years ago, I found a picture and description of a Halford dressing called an "Olive Palmer" that closely resembled a Crackle and used very similar materials, except the peacock herl was used as a ribbing around the body and not on top of the fly's body.

Here's a pic of some Cracklebacks that I tied back in 2009, prior to opening day of the fishing season.
Attachments
100 Cracklebacks.jpg
100 Cracklebacks.jpg (960.88 KiB) Viewed 990 times

wiFlyFisher
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:15 pm
Location: Wisconsin
Contact:

Re: Crackleback Variation (Dry Fly)

Post by wiFlyFisher »

Wow! Very nice. That is a lot of Cracklebacks!!

Can you email the pattern recipe and I would love to try that on the truttas in the northern cheeseland trout streams.

Thanks,

joaniebo
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:30 pm

Re: Crackleback Variation (Dry Fly)

Post by joaniebo »

Crackleback Variation Dressing:

Hook: Daiichi #1190 – Dry Fly Barbless sizes 12 - 16
Silk: Black Danville 8/0 or Pearsall Gossamer Silk
Body: Light Olive – (Hareline – Pale Evening Dun) or Light Yellow – (Hareline – Pale Morning Dun)
Back Spine: Two Strands of green peacock herl
Hackle: 3 turns at end of hook shank (concave side facing away from hook shank) and 6 ½ turns of brown dry fly hackle on dubbed body
Treatment: A drop of “Watershed” and then dried overnight

joaniebo
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:30 pm

Re: Crackleback Variation (Dry Fly)

Post by joaniebo »

John

My memory is gone! : > ). Did I Ever send you the Crackleback info?

Bob

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest