Tier: J.P. Lipton (AKA Roughfisher)
Location: Detroit Lakes, MN
Lipton’s Come At Me Craw
Hook: 2X strong curved/scud, size 8 (e.g. Scorpion Venom 2X or Umpqua U202)
Thread: UNI-thread 6/0, Brown
Weight: 0.25” diameter lead wire
Carapace and shell: Furry Foam, tan
Body: Custom spectral seal sub dubbing, olive
Claws: Ultra Chenille, standard: olive, micro: dark olive
Antennae: Calf/Kip Tail, olive; Midge Flash, olive
Eyes: Ball chain, #1 (1.8mm), black, double truck style (4 ball link)
Special tools needed: Loon high tack swax (dubbing wax), dubbing brush or Velcro, colored permanent markers
This pattern is tied hook side up to reduce fouling since it will be fished along the bottom.
Start with establishing a thread wrap base along the hook shank, stopping about ¾ of the way along the hook shank. Cut a double link of ball chain (4 balls on a link), placing the middle link of the ball chain on top of the hook shank. Tie in firmly using figure wraps. You should have a double set of eyes, this is known as “double truck” style. Tie in two strips of lead wire from the base of the ball chain eyes back to just in front of the hook eye. Leave a little bit of space (about 2-3mm) in front of the eye to allow for tying off later. Secure the lead wire to the hook shank by covering it with thread wraps. Take the kip tail and even out the tips using a hair stacker. Tie in in hair in front of the eyes, leaving about 10mm of hair extending beyond the eyes to form the antennae. Secure calf tail to body. Tie in two strips of the midge flash along each side of the antennae, trim to the same length.
Invert the hook on your vise: this is easiest done on a rotary vise by rotating the vise 180°, so that the hook is inverted and facing point side up. Cut a 5 mm by 20 mm strip of furry foam and place the strip 2 to 3 mm in front of the eyes. Tie the strip in just like a wingcase (it will be pulled back over the body later); secure the foam from the tie in point along the shank back to the eyes. The foam strip should be pointing back past the hook bend. Tuck the strip out of the way if possible to make room for the next couple of steps. It may be cramped for space in there for a little bit.
Now to form the body using a dubbing rope. Take the dubbing wax and lightly coat the thread about 7 to 8 mm in length. Apply dubbing to the waxed thread. It is important to use just enough material to cover the thread, be careful not to use too much dubbing. Once the dubbing is applied to thread, twist/spin the thread until the dubbing fibers start to bind together, forming a yarn like dubbing rope. Use the dubbing rope to wrap around the eyes using a figure eight pattern and build up a small head around and just behind the eyes (about 2 to 3 mm behind eyes). Take your dubbing brush and brush the dubbing fibers back toward the antennae, making sure to tease out all of the dubbing around the eyes.
How to construct the claws: cut two 40 mm pieces of the olive micro chenille and two 40 mm pieces of the dark olive standard chenille. Take one strand of each color chenille and place them side by side. Make an overhead loop with both strands of chenille, forming a knot toward one end. Trim the tag ends on the knot side to 3-5 mm in length; carefully singe the edges with a lighter.
Tie the chenille claws on to the body just behind the dubbed head. Use your discretion to determine the length of the claw arms; I typically have the base of claw extend just past the eye. Tie them in at an angle with the claws overlapping on the hook shank. Not only does this help firmly secure the claws to the hook but allows the claws to flare out from the body, appearing more anatomically correct and animated. Give an ample amount of thread wraps firmly secure the claws to the body. Trim off the tag ends. Form another dubbing rope 7 to 8mm in length, and dub the body to just in front of the hook eye. Pull the furry foam strip back over the body like a wingcase, securing the foam with several thread wraps just behind the eye. You’re your thread underneath the foam behind the hook eye, once. Whip finish the fly just behind the head and tie off. Trim the tag end of the foam, leaving about 3 to 4mm past the hook eye, to form a tail section. By whip finishing underneath the foam strip instead of on top of it, you will form a slight thread base underneath the foam which will help raise the foam tail off of the hook eye. Use the dubbing brush to tease out the rest of the dubbed body. This will give the appearance of legs and gills.
Color the carapace and shell and the claws, if desired, using a permanent marker, to match the coloration of local species.