If you search for this fly tying step-by-step you’ll quickly discover that the internet sometimes isn’t forever.  Dead links, media servers that have vanished or migrated, the Bauer Flats Crab Step-By-Step practically disappeared off the internet.  It’s DNA apparent in other patterns like the Contraband Crab, which has largely replaced the Bauer in younger fly fishermans’ boxes.

As always, I am the sucker for the nostalgic, and hunted for a recipe to make one myself.  Comments that came back weren’t so positive, it seems the pattern has morphed and evolved into something else with very few people still tying it as it was.  The following step-by-step is put together using the Bauerish parts of the flies that evolved from Wills pattern, so I may be wrong or slightly off in parts.

There are three non traditional elements to my SBS:

  • 1) Turneffe style rubber legs instead of elastic band style ones, mainly because they last better for me.
  • 2) Eyes glued in rather than tied in.  (The tan pattern at the end has the eyes tied in the traditional way)
  • 3) I use UV resin to attach the legs to hold in place and fabric glue to weld it all together (vs epoxy on the original).  I like that the fly is the same colour on both side.

Bauer flats crab SBS
3 - bauer flats crab sbs
I tie in two lots of mcfly foam, fore and aft of the dumbbells
4 -Bauer Flats Crab SBS
excess trimmed off
5 -Bauer Flats Crab SBS
6 -Bauer Flats Crab SBS
Keep it thicker than you are comfortable with, you can always trim or burn down thinner
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Crab patty, singed down
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Eyes glued in
11 -Bauer Flats Crab SBS
“compress” sections where the legs will sit. Makes life a lot easier.
12 -Bauer Flats Crab SBS
Leg trick. To get round rubber legs to knot in the same final direction, do inverse loops for the knots. (part 1)
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UV resin in. Note I “floss” the one set under the dumbbells
15 -Bauer Flats Crab SBS
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Make sure to lift the legs and spread glue under the legs (between leg and body)
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Dries clear and flexible.  18 -Bauer Flats Crab SBS 20 -Bauer Flats Crab SBS 21 -Bauer Flats Crab SBS

Traditional eye method (I think).

22 -Bauer Flats Crab SBS
I don’t like this as it makes leg placement clumsy.
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Not mentioned above – tease out the foam with bodkin prior to trimming
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Singe the foam
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32 -Bauer Flats Crab SBS
The original recipe…

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