[Video] How to Tie a Crane Fly Larva

Tim Flagler demonstrates how to tie his version of a Crane Fly Larva in this Tightline Productions fly tying video tutorial.

Crane Fly Larva Mash-Up

As Tim points out in the video his Crane Fly Larva imitation is a mash-up of Frank Sawyer’s Killer Bug, the Utah Killer Bug from Tenkara Guides, the Jason Klass version of the Utah Killer bug, and Walt’s Worm by Walt Young. Wow! For a simple pattern that’s a lot of mashing!

Why Tim’s Crane Fly Larva Pattern Works

The secret ingredient in Tim’s Crane Fly pattern is the wool yarn he uses, Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift Yarn. Jamieson’s is a pure Shetland wool and the Oyster (SP-290) color has a translucent quality when wet that allows the pinkish hue of the yarn to show through just as the Chadwick’s 477 wool yarn used in original Killer bug. This is the property that Frank Sawyer surmised made the original Sawyer Killer Bug so effective. Chadwick’s 477 has not been manufactured in over 40 years and is very difficult and expensive to come by hence the substitution (in case you were wondering.)

Crane Fly Larva Material List

Hook: Dai-Riki 285 (3X-long nymph hook), size 12
Weight: Round Lead Free Wire – 0.020
Thread: UTC Ultra Thread 140, Fluorescent Pink
Adhesive: ZAP A Gap
Body: Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift Yarn, Oyster (SP-290)


About the author

Ken is an avid fisherman of 40+ years who loves to explore and find new places to fish. He created DIY Fly Fishing to help you do the same.

You May Also Like

Get Directions to the Best Places to Fish in America!

Check out our interactive map of over 30,000 of the best places to fly fish in the US. Get directions to access points, boat ramps, and real-time USGS stream flow data.