Yabby Blue Eyes

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

As I was organizing all the flies I planned to haul down to Australia, I realized I hadn’t tied any crawfish patterns for the hunt for Murray Cod. There are a lot of different crayfish species in Australia but the most notable is the Common Yabby (Cherax destructor). As a side note, since a great many species names flow from some scientist who named them, I wonder who Mr. Destructor was in 1936 when the Yabby was formally described as a species. Not only is it an important forage for Murray Cod and other freshwater species, the darn things are Blue, not pale blue, sky blue or blue-green, but some are an Electric Blue. While blue is not an uncommon color in saltwater flies, I would suspect most freshwater fly tiers don’t have lots of bright blue materials at hand. So when I decided to tie a few Yabbys for the trip, I assembled what blue materials I had and went to work.

Most crayfish patterns display distinct eyes at the back of the hook. Many times dumbbell or bead chain eyes are used. Epoxy eyes attached to mono are also popular. But for my Yabbys I was going to try something a bit different—hence the title Yabby Blue Eyes. Using a short length (2”) of 1.2mm clear vinyl ribbing, UV Cured cement and Blue epoxy dye, I was able to create custom eyes that provide lots of movement and exaggerate the eyes of the Yabby. A great source of Epoxy dyes is available on Amazon. A simple three step process:

  1. Burn small knobs at each end of the vinyl rib with a torch to create a firm base for the UV cement.
  2. Using clear UV cured cement, dip each end in cement and cure. Use the clear UV cement first to get a good cure down the vinyl rib.
  3. Add a drop or two of blue dye to the clear UV cement, dip each end into the dyed cement and cure.

To tie my Yabbys, I pretty much used my normal crayfish method, except with blue materials. We’ll see how they fair against Mr. Goo Doo.

Hook: 4/0 Umpqua Beast

Thread: .008 Mono

Weight: 10-15 turns of .020 Lead Free Wire

Claws: Six Blue CDL Rooster Hackles tied flared out

Antenna: Blue Krystal Flash

Eyes: Yabby Blue Eyes

Carapace: Blue Yak Hair (Blue EP fibers would work well here)

Thorax: Blue Dubbing

Rib: Blue Wire

Legs and Swimmerets: Blue and Grizzly hackle

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