How to tie 4 killer crayfish flies that work all over Canada

Craw copies

These 4 crayfish flies are straightforward to tie and easy to fish

Whether you call it a crayfish, crawfish, crawdad, mudbug or mountain lobster, this common freshwater crustacean is an important food source for Canadian gamefish. Here are four proven crayfish flies—Autumn Splendour, Clouser Crayfish Bead Head Woolly Bugger and the Clouser Deep Minnow—along with tying notes, patterns and videos.


Although some of these patterns call for specific colours, feel free to use whatever look crayfish-y to you, or whatever you see in your local waters. However all crayfish flies should have some kind of weight, since the naturals are largely bottom dwellers. In addition, take care not to make the claws too big, since science shows that fish prefer craws with smaller armaments.

For everything you need to know about fishing these crayfish flies, see “Why big fish love crayfish flies.”

Looking for more even new fly patterns? Check out our running list of the all-time best flies for Canadian anglers at And you can see all of Outdoor Canada’s expert fly tying tips at