DOUG’S CS (Croaker Slider)
Hook: #6 or #4 Tiemco 811S or Daiichi 2546
Thread: White Danville’s size A
Eye: 7/32” or 3/16” Spirit River black brass hourglass
Claw (tail): Calf tail, cream over pink over burnt orange
Collar: Bleached elk, tan
Thread Shield: Orange craft bead lace (Rexlace) or large vinyl rib
Body: Partially spun and stacked elk or deer hair, cream white, orange and pink
The fly is intended to impressionistically imitate the ghost shrimp that swims with its claws together in front of its body and uses its legs for power (much like brine shrimp). It settles to the bottom (not dives) and uses its tail to bury itself in the sand. The naturals are basically cream white in color with irregular banding and mottling. The spinning and stacking of hair for the body should be irregular in pattern.
The machined brass eyes are tied under and behind the hook point leaving plenty of room to form the body. The thread shield is placed on the fly to protect the thread wraps that hold the brass eyes to the hook from the ravages of the sand bottom. Taper the lace to provide a neat tie-in. This material can be purchased from a craft store.
The claw (tail) is tied approximately 1/3 of the way around the bend of the hook. The claw will stick up out of the bottom while the fly is a rest. This modification causes the fly to twist in the air but had been a very big improvement in attracting pick-ups by the fish.
The original version of this fly was tied with caribou. This material spins and stacks well but is not very durable. The finished fly didn’t last long. The first bunch of hair that is spun on should be medium texture bleached bull elk in a tan color. The balance of the body is spun and stacked deer or cow elk in cream white with irregular orange bands and orange spots with pink centers. Make sure the material is spun on unevenly. The finished body should look irregular and mottled not striped. Trim the body to shape (bullet with a flat bottom) leaving a few strands of the first bunch long and swept back as a collar like on a Muddler Minnow.
All exposed thread and the bottom of the body is protected from the sand with a thin layer of 30-minute epoxy. I find that this slow cure epoxy penetrates nicely and provides long lasting protection. I apply the epoxy with the use of inexpensive brushes.