November 2008


Jeffery Skeate

Jeff's Cricket

Hook: #12 dry fly hook, standard fine-wire
Thread:8/0 Black pre-waxed
Body: Black Hareline dubbing with palmered and trimmed black hackle feather
Legs: Knotted turkey tail quill segments
Wing: Black kip tail
Head: Mixed black and grizzly hackle
Tying Instructions and Commentary:

Tying Instructions:

  1. Attach thread to hook
  2. Tie in rough black palmering hackle feather
  3. Tie in black body of fly, dubbing a shade more than half-way to the eyelet
  4. Palmer black feather over dubbing and trim to leave "beard" over hook point
  5. Attach two pre-knotted legs from turkey tail quill segments and trim to proper length
  6. Tie in black kip tail wing, using Just The Right Amount!
  7. Attach black and grizzly hackle feathers just above wing and wind both to eyelet to form "head" of fly
  8. Finish head of fly in preferred fashion

Cricket patterns began to be tied particularly towards the middle of the twentieth century, though there were of course earlier variations. This pattern was developed from what I considered the best qualities from a number of different existing patterns. The pattern is easy to see on the water, floats extremely well and is deadly from early August through the end of October on virtually any stream in northeast Iowa. I have used it very successfully in South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota as well. In his book In The Ring Of The Rise (1976), Vincent Marinaro says that the Cricket pattern is the most underrated dry fly imitation in existence. If you hear crickets chirping anywhere in the vicinity, it's time to tie on the pattern! Wait until the morning dew has dried, as one would do with grasshopper patterns. The pattern works amazingly well in quiet, slow moving water as well as fast water. Use 4X tippet material when fishing the #12 Cricket. In my experience, a good cricket pattern is considerably more effective than a hopper pattern. Also, the cricket pattern tends to draw strikes from large trout, so the pattern provides lots of surprises for both trout and fisherman!

Photograph 2008 by Marv Slind