"Artist Flick Ford asked for my help taking close up photos of large smallmouth for his FISH book project. We decided throwing crayfish patterns on the lower Delaware River and sections of the Susquehanna would give us the best opportunity to net a photo worthy smallmouth.
We were catching most of the decent fish in the slow pools with some success but a lot of them turned off the flies we were throwing at the last moment. To keep their interest and entice them to eat I wanted a crayfish imitation that had a ton of built in movement rather than a stiff realistic pattern.
The combination of palmered marabou and rubber legs move in between strips and the eyes add a jigging motion when stripped and a diving motion when stopped. The lead eyes keep the hook point up and helps prevent snagging on rocky bottoms. The Messy Craw worked so well on smallmouth we started fishing it on The Upper Delaware System where it worked just as well on trout."
- Signature Tyer Jeff White