Crab Pattern Fly

Crab Pattern

The Crab Pattern is designed to imitate various crab species found in saltwater flats and coastal environments, fished on the bottom with slow retrieves.

How it's tied

The Crab Pattern is tied using a short or medium shank hook and a combination of materials to create a lifelike crab profile. The body is typically formed from a blend of dubbing, chenille, or synthetic materials, wrapped around the hook shank to create a round, textured shape. Sometimes a mesh structure is used for the body, as you can see in the picture.

The legs and claws can be made from rubber, silicone, or natural materials like hackle fibers, providing lifelike movement and enhancing the fly's appeal. The final touch is a set of dumbbell or bead chain eyes, which not only give the fly a realistic appearance but also add weight, allowing the fly to sink quickly and maintain a natural presentation on the bottom. Given that it's presented on the bottom, the weight distribution is done in a way that the hook will point upwards. Lastly, sometimes weed guards (as in the picture) are added to ensure the hook doesn't get stuck.

What it mimics

The Crab Pattern is designed to imitate various crab species found in saltwater flats and coastal environments, a common food source for many flats species such as bonefish, sea bass, striped bass, permit, and redfish. Its realistic profile, lifelike movement, and ability to sink quickly make it an effective and enticing imitation of crabs, which can trigger aggressive strikes from predatory fish.

Where it's used

The Crab Pattern is primarily used in saltwater environments, such as flats, mangroves, and coastal areas, where crabs are abundant and form a major part of the diet for many fish species. To fish the Crab Pattern effectively, cast it close to the target fish and allow it to sink to the bottom. Use slow, deliberate strips or short twitches to mimic the natural movement of a crab, making sure to keep the fly close to the bottom where crabs are typically found.

Fly tying video for the Crab Pattern

Fish you can can fly fish for with the Crab Pattern

Atlantic Cod

Atlantic Halibut



Sea bass

Sea Trout

Share the link to this fly

Save this fly in your favorites

Other flies




Biscuit Pattern

Black Gnat


Blue Damsel

Blue Winged Olive


Bread fly


Bunny Leech



Caddis Fly

Captain Crunch

Carnage Attractor


Chernobyl Ant

Clod Hopper

Clouser Minnow

Copper John


Czech Nymph

Daddy Long Legs

Damsel Nymph

Diawl Bach

Elk Hair Caddis

EP Streamer

Foam Beetle

Frog Popper

Glo Bug

Grannom Emerger


Grey Wulf

Griffith's Gnat

Hare's Ear Nymph



Inch Worm



Lady Bug

Lefty's Deceiver



March Brown

May Fly

Mickey Finn

Montana Nymph

Muddler Minnow

Palomino Midge

Parachute Adams

Peeping Caddis

Pheasant Tail Nymph

Prince Nymph

Red Tag

Rock Worm

Royal Coachman


Salmon Egg

San Juan Worm

Sand Eel



Sedge Goddard

Shrimp Pattern


Sparkle Dun

Sparkle Pupa

Spider Pattern



Stoat's Tail

Stone Fly

Woolly Bugger


Zebra Midge


Is your favorite fly not listed? Let us know.

Discover fly fishing around the world

New info about fish, locations and countries
Upskill with tips and tricks
Save your favorite species, flies, locations and more

FlyFish Circle is run by fly fishing enthusiasts and is completely free!

Join now