Daddy Longlegs (Crane Fly)

by Jonathan

The crane fly is a land based insect which features in the fly fisher’s armoury because it is an ungainly flier and regularly finds it’s way on to lakes and rivers by accident. They usually appear about August time and can be quite an abundant food source for the trout either on the surface or as they get caught up in the surface film and drown.

Their long legs make them very distinctive and all the imitative patterns are based on this feature. They can be tied with a detached body on short shank hooks or wool body tied on a long shank hook, there are even gold bead versions.

The most common and certainly an effective pattern is tied with hackle point wings and knotted cock pheasant tail fibres for the legs on a long shank size 10 hook. The most trying part of this fly is tying the knots in the pheasant tail fibres. Try to acquire the centre tail feathers from a mature cock bird. These fibres will be longer and stronger. I also tie two together at the same time, it saves time and the trout do not seem to notice.

A variant of the daddy long legs is the hopper. For this pattern don’t give it wings and tie a seals fur dubbed body with lurex ribbing.

  • Hook – Long shank size 10
  • Tying thread – Brown
  • Body – Brown wool or floss
  • Rib ( optional ) – Fine copper wire
  • Wing – 2 brown grizzle hackles over back
  • Legs – 2 pairs of knotted cock pheasant tail fibres each side of the body
  • Hackle – Brown cock hackle

For the Hopper

  • Body – Seals fur ( any colour )
  • Rib – Lurex silver or gold
  • Hackle – Colour to match

Happy Fishing from Dave C and the Team

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How to knot legs - Fly Fishing Forums
September 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm

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