Saturday, March 18, 2017

Lou DiGena's CE Crayfish

The CE Crayfish (Close Enough) is a very simple crayfish pattern developed by my friend Louis DiGena for trout and bass.  When he designs flies, he follows the K.I.S.S. rule (Keep It Simple Stupid).  He will usually focus on one or two triggers when developing a pattern, here the claws and the swimming action.  At rest, the marabou claws spread and flutter giving the impression of a crayfish in a defensive position, claws flared out and moving.  When swimming this pattern, the marabou claws collapse like the natural and the dumbbell eyes give the fly a jigging action.  These triggers mimic two key characteristics of the fish and trigger the fish to strike.  The fly also does a great job imitating a small baitfish.

The pattern is an easy one to tie.  The dumbbell eyes allow the fly to ride hook point up, minimizing snags and hang ups on the bottom.  I like tying the CE Crayfish in size 4 and 8 in both a light and dark olive version, but feel free to experiment with other colors.  In my home state of New Jersey I find light olive to be the best color for my local streams, especially the South Branch of the Raritan River.

You can vary the weight of the fly by omitting or adding extra lead wire wraps and changing the size and/or style of eyes.  Adjust the pattern to the depth of the water and the species of fish your targeting.  Despite the aggressive nature of the crayfish there are not too many fish species that will pass up a lobster meal!