How to Tie: Crane Fly Larva

Ready for a new fly to add to the nymph arsenal? In this week’s “How to Tie” feature: Tim Flager with Tightline Video is here to show us how to tie Crane Fly Larva.

Learn About This Fly:

Difficulty: Novice

Inspired by a mix of several varieties of the “Killer bug” pattern, as well as the “Walt’s Worm” pattern, the Crane Fly Larva imitation is a deadly weapon on a dropper rig. Modeled after the subsurface larvae of the infamous crane fly, these buggers can be found in streams and lakes across the world.

Because of their size and commonality, these flies can be fished wherever there are fish to be found; as trout or grayling will gobble them up whenever they’re nearby. When fished on a dropper, usually below a heavier weighted fly (Such as a copper john or weighted caddis larvae), you’re bound to attract the attention of fish from all sizes and species.

This fly uses only a few materials and is a relatively easy job for tyers of all levels of proficiency. However, with the use of materials like Wool yarn, it also offers a chance for tyers to add something new to their repetiteur and entices some new originality. Note, if you don’t have yarn available, grey or tan dubbing can also be used as a supplement until you can make it to your local sewing store.


  • Dai-Riki #285 size 12 nymph hook
  • .02 lead-free wire
  • 140 Denier Fluorescent pink UTC thread
  • Jameson Shetland Wool yarn (Oyster)
  • Head cement (optional)
  • Zap-a-gap adhesive (optional)

Now you know how to tie Crane Fly Larva flies!

Video courtesy of Tightline Video

Article Written by Wills Donaldson 

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How to Tie: Green Caddis Larva

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