The Merkin Crab |
By Jason Akl
When Del Brown originally tied the Merkin Crab there was absolutely no way of knowing that this simple yarn fly would revolutionize saltwater flyfishing. Fly anglers use to have less than a 20% chance at getting Permit to actively respond to flies and even less of a chance to have a fish bite. Del Brown and guide Steve Huff created the Merkin Crab and with it showed the angling world that Permit fishing on fly tackle could be done effectively and efficiently.
To the untrained eye the Merkin Crab, for lack of better words, looks unskillful. The tying techniques and materials used in this pattern seem simple, drab, and almost as if time passed them by. Upon closer inspection, what Del Brown created with the Merkin Crab is a fly that combines realism with motion to become one of the most devastating flies the saltwater world has ever seen.
First, the Merkin Crab has a uniquely oval, tapered shape that imitates typical crabs found throughout Permit waters; while at the same time allowing the fly to fall quickly to the bottom so that the fish may pick it up quickly in the water. The materials chosen for this fly: webby hackles, yarn, and rubber legs “breathe” when they become submerged in the water. This undulating motion helps the fly look alive, as if it were a real crab poking and prodding on the ocean floor searching for food, and thus enticing even the most lackadaisical of fish.
The Merkin Crab has fooled Permit the world over and not having multiple copies of this fly in your fly box will severely hinder your chances of catching the Permit of your dreams. Take the time to stock up on these exciting little critters, you will thank yourself later.