Fly of the Week – The Cruncher

Fly of the Week

This weeks ‘Fly of the Week’ has the be the Cruncher. A generic, all round pattern which can be tied in a variety of styles, colours and sizes. My most favourite thing about this fly is that it can be tied to represent anything from corixa, olive nymphs or even small fry. A fly which can be used anywhere on the cast, it makes a great dropper or point fly. This fly can also be used to good effect between two boobies at the start of the season, ideal to entice those fish which follow the boobies out of interest.

Tying Instructions

Insert a Kamasan b175 size 10 hook into the vice – The great thing about this fly is that varying the hook gauge and size you can represent almost anything that inhabits the bottom of a reservoir.

Run your UTC thread down the hook, laying a perfectly flat bed of thread to tie over. Take five or six strands of red game hackle to use as the tail and attach with a couple of thread wraps. The tail should be kept to about the same length as the overall body, just to keep things in proportion.

Attach a rib of Uni Soft Wire, vary the colour depending on what fly you’re looking to represent. Latch three our four strands of pheasant tail to the back of the hook for the body then run the thread back to the top of the hook leaving a gap of about 1/3 for the thorax. Wind the few strands of pheasant back up the hook in touching turns and tie off. To secure, wind the wire rib in an opposite direction to the body, evenly spacing each turn to give a nice segmented effect.

The thorax is usually a darker colour than the body such as it is on most insects, here I’ve used olive glister but any sort of dubbing and fur can be applied. Create a dubbing rope but don’t tighten too much, this will allow the thorax to be picked out – especially after a couple of fish. Build a neat tapered thorax leaving enough space at the head to tie the hackle.

Prepare a hen furnace feather, the type with a black centre and light tips, by removing the fluff at the bottom of the stalk. Tie in at the head with a couple of turns of thread and wind the hack around the collar just once. Hackle turns can be varies to influence sink rate, the more turns, the slower the cruncher would sink. Tie the hackle in and varnish.

Cruncher Tying Materials 

Hook: Kamasan b175 Size 10
Thread: UTC Olive 7- Denier
Tail: Red Game 5/6 Strands
Body: Pheasant Tail 4 Strands
Rib: Silver wire
Thorax: Olive Glister
Hackle: Natural Hen Furnace

Written by Kieron Jenkins

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Kieron Jenkins

About Kieron Jenkins

Born and raised on the rivers and lakes of south Wales, Kieron Jenkins won his first cap at the age of nine, fishing for the Welsh Youth International team. He has gone on to prove himself as one of the leading competition anglers of his generation, both on the river and also the stillwater scene. Specialising in nymph and dry fly fishing in the small streams and larger, freestone rivers of South Wales, he’s also a highly respected and innovative fly tier. Kieron regularly contributes quality features to online and printed game fishing publications. When he’s not fly fishing, kieron is digital marketing manager at Fulling Mill.

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