Crackleback Fly


The Crackleback is a versatile and highly effective pattern that can be fished as both a dry fly and a wet fly. Its unique design and lively movement make it appealing to a wide variety of fish species.

How it's tied

The Crackleback is typically tied on a standard dry fly hook, usually in sizes 12 to 18. The body is formed from dubbed fur or synthetic material, often in bright, eye-catching colors such as yellow, orange, or green.

A palmered hackle, typically grizzly or brown, is wrapped from the tail to the head, providing buoyancy and creating a segmented appearance. Peacock herl or another shiny material is often added at the head of the fly for additional flash and attraction.

While the tying process of the Crackleback can be a bit complex due to the palmered hackle, the end result is a fly with a distinctive, undulating motion that proves irresistible to fish.

What it mimics

The Crackleback is a generalist pattern and can mimic a variety of aquatic insects, including mayfly emergers, caddis pupae, and small baitfish or leeches when fished wet. The versatility of the Crackleback lies in its ability to represent a wide range of aquatic life, making it a valuable addition to any fly box.

Where it's used

The Crackleback is effective in a range of environments and can be used in both rivers and lakes. It's particularly successful when fished on the surface during a hatch, replicating a struggling or emerging insect. When fished sub-surface, it can mimic small baitfish or invertebrates, drawing strikes from both trout and warmwater species.

Fly tying video for the Crackleback

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Fish you can can fly fish for with the Crackleback

Brook trout

Brown Trout


Cutthroat Trout

Golden Trout


Largemouth Bass

Marble Trout


Rainbow Trout


Smallmouth Bass


Insect orders relevant to the Crackleback

These are insect orders of which one or more species are mimicked by the Crackleback.





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