Sprite competition barbless
Thread: Semperfli black 8/0 waxed
Tail: Claret coloured pheasant tail fibres
Rib: Semperfli 2.0mm gold wire
Body: Claret coloured pheasant tail fibres
Thorax: Claret holographic tinsel
Cheeks: Semperfli synthetic Jungle Cock
Head: Semperfli Fluorescent Orange 8/0 waxed thread.
It’s always those simple and easy to tie flies that give me the most satisfaction, not only because I enjoy tying them, playing around from the original and always looking to come in from the position of something just that little bit different without taking what seems like an age to do so.
It’s also the fact that flies like this are simply expendable, quick to tie, simple to fish, and easy to share amongst fellow anglers when you’ve hit upon a winning combination for a particular day.
The humble Cruncher pattern fits this bill perfectly and it really doesn’t take much, or any length of time at the vice to create a good range of flies and you know the fish will find very enticing and this one, for me, is one I’ve done well with wherever I’ve used it.
Picked out as anything from a small hatching buzzer, through to small shrimp or possibly even a small fry pattern, the Cruncher is a fly most anglers will now fish with confidence from wild waters to stocked, after all it’s basically a Pheasant Tail Nymph and if I’d had a pound for even time this fly has been successful then I’d wouldn’t have to worry about money ever again.
Switching up the natural colour of the pheasant tail for one dyed in claret gives a darker overall finish to the fly, but also in the correct light a reddish almost haemoglobin hue and when it’s wet, I really like it. Add in a flashy thorax and a hot head ‘trigger point’ and you’ve ticked all the boxes, although there’s nothing wrong in keeping this drab / plain, sometimes this is just what they want.
Plenty room for you to play around with the dressings on this one and plenty room for experimentation and creativity, after all this is one of the real pleasures in tying your own flies in the first place.
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