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The Crease Fly- Deadly Topwater Action


Published on 11-20-2004 12:03 PM

Liquid Water Automotive lighting Art Arthropod
The Crease Fly was first introduced to me by Joe Blados. Joe is an avid salt water fly fishing guide, an innovative fly tier, and someone who is always eager to chat about fishing. Joe guides out of the Long Island area and is very familiar with what big blues and stripers like to eat. Additonally, Joe never seems to be at a loss for something innovative and is currently experimenting with some unique ideas involving artwork related to fishing. As a guide, Joe spends a lot of his time chasing blues and stripers around Long Island Sound and this pattern remans one of his favorite "go to" flies.

Typically the fly is tied on large hooks 1/0 and up but I have been tying a smaller variety which work equally as well. This fly adapts very easily to different hook sizes and therefore gives the pattern a good deal of versatility. The fly has been popular with the salty fly fisherman in the New York / Long Island / New Jersey area and has recently come to have a good bit of popularity on the Chesapeake. It is a favored fly for surface feeding fish including large blues and stripers. It has also gained a lot of popularity with false albacore fanatics and I have recently used the fly on sinking lines with very positive results.

One of the very nice features of this pattern is that, in essence, it is a medium size fly that is very easy and inexpensive to tie. Despite the fact that it both easy and inexpensive, it is a very effective pattern that can imitate a number of items on a fish menu. The pattern has the ability to move a large amount of water despite it¹s otherwise slender appearance and is capable of creating a good deal of surface commotion. The fly is also a lot of fun to tie and the materials used are very easy to get creative.

There are several types of crease flies the "original" crease fly which is a bait fish pattern, the crease crab, the crease shrimp, the crease squid, and the list just seems to keep growing. For the purpose of this article we will concern ourselves with the crease bait fish pattern. The heart of the fly starts with close cell foam that is readily available in most fly shops and craft stores. The foam is about 1/8" thick and is very pliable, though it is exceptionally durable. It is easy to cut and adding color can be achieved with a few strokes of a marker. The crease pattern can be tied with either an open face or a closed face. The pattern depicted here will have an open face. The open face seems to create a lot of disturbance without the hard popping sound. The fly is actually like a funnel and the harder it is retrieved the more water gets pushed through and creates a ³stream² effect at the rear of the fly. The face of the fly can be sealed to give more of a popping action. This is accomplished by inserting a piece of foam at the front of the fly to seal it off.

Epoxy can be added to the exterior of the fly for increased durability and a smooth translucent texture which accents the color on the body. A little epoxy goes a long way so a thin coat is all that is really needed. As much as enhances the pattern, epoxy is not a necessary component for this fly.

Another option for the fly is a foil like coating. Joe also has sheets of a special foil available that can be attached to the foam to really give the fly a "scale like" appearance. When the foil is used the epoxy coating becomes even less necessary. The foil actually bonds to the foam and the appearance is quite striking. I have fished some of Joe¹s foil flies with no epoxy and even after the foam gets eaten up the foil remains attached. How much closer to real fish skin can you get! This article will deal with tying the non-foil variety but those interested in using the foil can contact Joe via email at <jblados>or you can call him at 631-765-3670. </jblados>@optonline.net>


Tying: Easy and fun to tie. Easy to experiment with.

Casting: Casts better than traditional foam poppers of similar size

Retrieve: Smaller scale works well on a dead drift in heavy current while the larger patterns work better when striped very quickly.

Action: Lots of water pushed even on the smaller sizes.

Comments: Make sure when the pattern is tied that sufficient area is left in the hook gap. Trim the foam if needed once it is attached to ensure the foam will not interfere with hook ups.


Hook: Size 2, 34011 Mustad ( can be tied in a variety of sizes)

Thread: Clear mono ( fine) Body Close cell foam 1/8 inch. Super Glue.

Eyes: Stick on 3.5 mm. Eyes can also be colored on or painted with marker.

Tail: Ultra Hair and Flash. ( buck tail or similar fibers can also be used)


1) Tie in the tail of the fly. I usually like to make the tail similar in length or shorter than the body. Secure the tail and advance the thread to the eye of the hook and then tie off. The thread on the shank of the hook will help the foam adhere to the shank when the super glue is applied.

2) Fold the foam over and cut both sides to the desired body length at the same time as shown. This will allow the body to have a uniform symmetrical appearance on both sides. Hold the body on the hook shank and test for fit. Once you have a body that fits well on the hook size you are using it is a good idea to make a template on a piece of paper so that you will have a guide for future flies.

3) place a small amount of super glue on the shank of the hook. Fold the body in half and press against the shank as shown. Any areas that do not adhere can be "touched up" with a tiny drop of glue.

4) Once the body is secured color with markers and place the eyes on the body as shown.

5) Allow the color to set. Avoid handling the body a lot as some colors will run. Coat the fly with a think coat of epoxy and allow to dry.
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