After my SBS I got an conspicuous email from Dean Riphagan from Frontier Fly Fishing – “Send me your physical address, I have something for you.”
Hate mail? Letter Bomb? I called Dean and he invited me over for a beer. On arrival I queried what this mystery parcel was, and was pretty chuffed with the result. Dean had stashed some of the original square latex used for Bauer Crabs by the man himself.
He’d also caught a permit on the crab, and discussing tying techniques (unsure of whether mine were technically correct due to the lack of original material on the fly out there and subsequent revisions and modifications), I was closer than I thought. Will Bauer did stick his eyes in the spun body, but there was an even bigger secret you never see mentioned…Open the hook.
I did this when using crabs for grunter quite successfully, to make the “spit” harder, and he said the guides he’d fished with opened the hook aggressively. His fish (a big one), had eaten and swam off with the fly before he realised he’d hooked up. I cant help but think this helped. Modern hard/light alloys like an SL12 don’t allow for this, but ill test it with stainless wire hooks.
Dean had one more gift – a digital version of Bauers movie. Years ago I bought a copy on ebay that never made it home. Below is an excerpt showing the man himself tying the classic pattern.
I know what you’re thinking. This dude is whiter than clapping when an aeroplane lands, but he spent his last years chasing tail rather than kids off of his lawn. My man.