What defines a Cruncher ?
after noticing this fly style’s name for a while and fiddling around without any serious answers, i asked this over on my friend Alun Rees’ blog ‘the enigmatic angler‘.
“This is only my opinion but I think the style of fly has been around in various guises for a considerable length of time. In reality it’s just a hackled Pheasant Tail Nymph. The flies I’ve posted are based on the Troth’s Pheasant Tail Nymph.
As you’re no doubt aware, the pheasant tail nymph has many variations but this style of fly, with a thorax but no wing cases and a hackle in all probability made it’s first appearance around the early 1980′s in the UK. It was popularised (and possibly first tied) by a prominent Stillwater angler by the name of Gordon Fraser.
During the mid 1980′s he regularly wrote for Trout Fisherman magazine and was well known for his nymphing tactics around weed beds with corixa patterns and the like. He also developed the infamous Booby fly and Fraser nymph.
He later wrote a book, first published in 1987, called ‘Mastering the Nymph.’ Flies that resemble modern Crunchers appear in some of the photos. However, at this time, he refers to them just as hackled pheasant tails.
I think these hackled pheasant tails were the genesis of the modern day Cruncher. They have been modified to suit modern competition styles of angling and also to incorporate some of the trigger points of the flies they’re tied to represent; possibly Lake Olive Nymphs, Buzzers and even Corixa. It’s more a style of fly than an imitative pattern, much like the catch-all Diawl Bach.
Either way, there are days when the Trout can’t help but munch on them! And where’s there’s munching there’s crunching!
haha ! thanks so much Alun for such a nice and informative reply.
i hope our readers will regularly check out Alun’s new blog and his awesome flies.