Andersonís McCrab |
By Jason Akl
This life-like antelope hair crab pattern brought about a revolution in new and effective permit patterns to hit the saltwater fly fishing world. Originally designed by George Anderson, one of America's best-known fly fishing experts and owner of the world-renowned Yellowstone Angler in Livingston, Montana; the McCrab is a relatively simple pattern that uses special materials to repeated dupe permit into biting.
Permits are the ultimate trophy species for fly anglers. They are strikingly beautiful and live in places where the water and sky are hard to tell apart. These fish have acute eye sight and refined hearing combined with the urge to be constantly on the move. They are unpredictable in mood and direction. Permit are bottom feeders and even though much of the food consumption happens in shallow crystal clear waters, they are very hard to observe due to their cautious behavior. It is a very well known fact that permit feed on crabs and it is this dietary delicacy that Andersonís McCrab counts on to fool these finicky fish.
The McCrab fly pattern has a few key features that allow it to accurately imitate real live mud crabs. First the pattern incorporates a set of lead eyes into its construction to cause it to act like a crab digging in to hide when it is stripped along the bottom. The antelope hair used for the body of the fly provides special buoyancy to this pattern to help it flutter for a second or two when stripped by the angler. The spun hair also helps to simulate the hard spiny texture of crabs shell in the fishís mouth, giving anglers a few extra precious seconds to set the hook. Lastly the rubber legs and the coloration of the pattern add to the overall fishy feel to the fly.
To fish this pattern cast the fly ahead of tailing permit and let it fall and rest on the bottom. If no fish immediately pursue the fly strip the pattern in with short strips of line allowing the fly to erratically touch down with the bottom and kick up debris. If the permit comes over for a closer look, and happens to pick up the fly quickly set the hook. If not, hold still and don't try to retrieve your fly until the permit is well past it.
Permit are among the most challenging of fly rod game fish found anywhere in the world. If you are fortunate enough to get the chance to fish for these finicky critters take a chance and fish a few McCrabís it might just be the fly that helps put a bend or two in your fly rod.
Tie this fly is hook sizes 4-1/0.