This is young Peter. Id been fly fishing for about 6 years at this point, my flies were shocking imitations of those patterns developed in the american south east. Seaducers, charlies, deceivers.
An even younger Peter had an obsession with crabs, which along with model cars were my favourite thing. I couldn’t watch people eat them or kill them. Today I still struggle to use a crab if bait fishing. I learnt my lesson in Mauritius once while carrying around a giant hermit crab in my pocket- no its not going there. Easily distracted I was walking around holding it when it must have eventually got too hot, or just fed up. It actually got through the flesh of my hand. So hermit crabs were no longer friends, but the usual sand based variety remained.
I should have known that at some point my youthful crab obsession would align with my fishing interests. Today Id rather fish a crab than any other fly. I can’t explain it. I like a strong take, so youd think id be a charlie or spawning shrimp guy, but its something about seeing that crab hanging out a fish’s mouth that ups the joy a notch. So its crustaceans and crustacean eaters for me. Permit, Grunter (yes), Steenbras (still evading me), and anything else that hunts slow and digs in the ground. Viva the sea spider.
Here are some of the more interesting crabs I’ve found trawling the net recently: