When you think about colors for crab flies, you steer toward olive green, tan, brown and other drab earth tones. And why not? You’re “matching the hatch”, so to speak, or perhaps we should say “matching the marine”. Nevertheless, brightly colored flat’s flies always have a place in your fly box. Never forget that. Truth is they can work wonders, sometime out performing realistic flies. And that is why you might want to tie a neon crab fly.
I’ve known some time that adding one bright color to a crab fly could increase its redfish attracting appeal. (For me that color was typically either orange or pink.) Why might that be so? A bright color helps a redfish spot the fly from a distance, especially in water that isn’t perfectly clear. In other words the color increases the fly’s effective range. And when the red gets over to the fly, the bright color contrast well with the bottom making the fly an easy target.
Don’t believe bright colors have a place on the flats? Ok..chew on this. Some of the most effective bonefish flies contain bold color. The Pink Puff comes immediately to mind. Its been a damn good “bone” fly for a long, long time. Spawning shrimp patterns often have a bright color aboard, usually in their butt. And many anglers add pink, orange or chartreuse wings to their Crazy Charlie or Gotcha. Hey, attractor patterns plain work. Isn’t the first job of any fly to be seen? Hell yeah!
As you can see in the photos, I tied a totally neon crab fly. Ugly you say? Ahhhh…..Yeah, you’re absolutely right. Hell, it even looks a wee bit radioactive. But it just might be a killer. Time will tell. It has a pink Craft Fur tail, a variegated orange chenille body, bright colored rubber legs, small lead dumbbell up front, and Spirit River Glassy Eyes. All of that lovely stuff riding a Mustad size 2# C70SD Big Game hook. Damn thing probably glows in the dark. Update the Neon Crab works!