While I love spending time tinkering at the vise, I’m always looking for ways to cut down on the number of patterns I tie regularly. Ed Story’s Crackleback fits my style of fishing perfectly. Part dry fly, part wet fly and part micro-bugger, this easy-to-tie pattern mimics naturals on the surface, emerging caddis and just looks buggy as all get-out. It’s a perfect prospecting fly, but match the size to the naturals and you can easily fool actively feeding fish.

Tim Flagler walks us through tying this classic example of fly-tying innovation and versatility.

I love using this fly to cover water quickly, fishing it dry until the end of the drift and then swinging it back down below me. I either skitter it across the surface like a caddis or I give it a slight tug to pop it under the surface and swing it like a soft hackle. I’ve even had luck using it as the top fly in double nymph rig.

Crank a few of these out the next time you’re at the vise and give them a shot on your next outing. They’re super quick to tie, fun to fish and most importantly, incredibly effective.

By Brennan Sang. 

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