Fly Tying- Deviating Charlie’s Nuke Egg

some people like egg patterns and some people don’t but what i’m seeing in Charlie Craven’s great step-by-step tutorial is a tying technique that’ll be of interest to any fly fisher. (except for the die-hard dry fly purist… )

Charlie's Nuke Egg

– as is, the Nuke of course looks like a very yummy fish egg still encapsulated by its embryonic sac but if we play with the basic pattern, use an as-close-to-clear as possible egg yarn and say, add two big black eyes we’ll have a fantastic alevin imitation.
– if we don’t add the veil and use that same egg construction shape and stack several close together along the hook shank and then trim to shape once the yarn is all fluffed out we have a really interesting, super-easy, translucent, lively and very attractive streamer body.
– the very same egg shape would make a much nicer head for egg-sucking leeches than the typical chenille.
– this stuff doesn’t hold water for long so we can easily build up a bulky fly body and still have something easy to cast.
– i’m sure there’s plenty of other uses to this technique i haven’t thought of but by now i’m equally sure you’ll see that it’s not just about egg patterns.

click the pic for Charlie’s complete step-by-step. enjoy !

Ragin’ !

found over at (what a groovy name !), here’s Tim Geist‘s version of Charlie Craven’s Ragin’ Craven:

“The Ragin’ Craven was originally developed as a permit fly that could be fished both on the drop and the retrieve. See, most permit flies are to be dropped in front of the fish, and act like a crab as they drop, but lack the movement and profile to entice a grab after the fly hits the bottom. I have never had a permit eat a fly once it touched the bottom, although they generally will eyeball the hell out if it and it gets a bit frustrating. Therefore, I went to work to come up with a fly that would drop like a crab pattern, but then have the movement and profile to morph into a shrimp or other flats critter once on the bottom, allowing the angler a chance to move the fly without blowing his cover. The Ragin’ is my answer. As a happy side effect, I have since discovered that the Ragin’ is a great fly for bonefish. I have used it with great success in Florida, Belize and Mexico, and the fact that you can fish the same fly to both permit and bones makes it a no brainer when fishing flats that harbor both species. A good friend of mine has even caught tarpon on it, and I have it on good authority that the Ragin’ is deadly on redfish as well. One of the most unexpected targets for the Ragin’ has been Striped Bass on the east coast. I’m not going to argue with this fly and it’s ability to interest a variety of species, I’m just happy that it does!”

and i wouldn’t doubt it for a second !
in fact, as one who can’t help but notice a lot of possibilities in cross-over patterns, (salt to fresh and vice-versa) i can see this fly working very well on a big number of freshwater fishes as well. retaining the basic pattern with a few minor tweaks here and there should keep one busy both at the bench and on the water.

here’s Craven’s original (see what i mean about tweaking here and there ?)

click the pic above for Craven’s fine step-by-step and Tim’s for a groovy selection of flies at The Flybrary. enjoy !