Warmwater Fly of the month: March, 2005 - John Tertuliani Red Eye Crayfish

Tying John Tertuiliani Red Eye Crayfish

John Tertuliani's Red Eye Crayfish

(Tied & Photograph by John Tertiliani)

The John Tertuliani Red Eye Crawfish


John Tertuliani (with persmission from, About the Author in the book Smallmouth Bass Thoughts on Fly-Fishing)

John Tertuliani received a fly rod as a Christmas present about 35 Introduction years ago. Using homemade flies as another means of catching bluegills and the occasional largemouth bass, his obsession with the outdoors led to Ohio State University and a bachelor s degree in fisheries management in 1981.

While on his honeymoon, he slipped away early one morning to fish the Middle Fork of Flathead Creek in Montana. After struggling to catch cutthroat trout on strange flies, he realized aquatic entomology proved a science in itself. He thought he had learned all he needed to know about fish and fishing by working seven years for a state fish and game agency.
He decided that same morning if he ever returned to school, he would study aquatic entomology. Less than a year later in 1989, he resigned from his fisheries position and entered graduate school at Eastern Kentucky University.

Tertuliani earned a master's degree in biology in 1991. He never dreamed he would be employed as an aquatic entomologist. He simply wanted to study aquatic insects for his love of fly-fishing. He began conducting stream surveys immediately after graduation. Before the summer ended, he was recruited by a consulting company as an aquatic entomologist and biologist.

In 1993, he left the consulting business to become a federal biologist, thus fulfilling a dream. A position he still holds. He his training in aquatic entomology and fisheries biology to evaluate the water quality in streams. He does so by evaluating fish aquatic insect populations. Habit also plays a key role.

Tertuliani is also an outdoor writer. Having been published in numerous magazines, he decided to write a book on his favorite gamefish, the smallmouth bass. The author prefers fishing in a stream over a lake or reservoir, which is why his book focuses on streams. He hopes his knowledge of biology will lead others to the challenge of catching a smallmouth bass on a fly and help them appreciate and protect our most precious resource, freshwater streams.











Hook: Tiemco 700 #2.
Thread: 3/0 Danville
Hackle: Brown or Grizzly
Body: Hot Orange Estaz
Tail: Orange marabou tips over cream marabou tip and 6-8 strans of gold Frystal Flash.
Weight: 0.50 lead-free solder or solder about the same diameter as the hook wire.
Eyes: 6mm red glass beads on a short length of 30lb monofilament line melted at the ends.

(Click on picture to enlarge)

Step 1: Cut a piece of monofilament about 1 1/2 inches long.

Step 2: With a pair of tweezers find and hold at the mid point of the monfilament (3/4 inches).

Step 3: Hold the monofilament at slight upwards angle and slide a glass bead on the monofilament.

Step 4: With a lighter slowly come towards the end of the monoflament(do not touch the monofilament) with the flame. The monofilament will start melting toward the end of the glass bead.

Step 5: This is how the first bead eye should look with the melted monofilament.

Step 6: Turn the eye around and place the second bead on the monofilament.

Step 7: Repeat step four. Your glass bead eyes should look like the pitcure on the left.

Step 8: Lay a thread base on the hook stopping at the bend of the hook.

Step 9: Secure the glass bead eyes on top of the hook at the start of the bend of the hook by using figure 8 wraps.

Step 10: After wrapping the eyes in place, apply some Zap-A-Gap glue on to the figure 8 wraps. This will help keep the eye in place.

Step 11: Measure out a tuff of cream marabou about 3/4 length of the hook.

Step 12: Secure the marabou on to the hook.

Step 13: Measure out a tuff of orange marabou about the length of the hook.

Step 14: Secure the marabou on to the hook.

Step 15: Measure out about eight strans of gold Krystal Flash about the length of the hook and tie them in on top the of orange marabou.

Step 16: Tie in by the stem along the shank of the hook a brown or grizzle feather by the stem alone the shank of the hook. (the large brown feather used here is for demostration only). The barbs of the hackle chosen should just be a little longer than the Estaz fiber from the core.

Step 17: Strip away some of the Estaz from the core.

Step 18: Tie in the core of the Estaz along the shank of the hook then wrap the thread back the glass bead eyes.

Step 19: Tie in the solder and wrap towards the eye of the hook. Leave a small space behind the eye.

Step 20: At this point, your fly should look like this.

Step 21: Apply some flex cement on to the solder.

Step 22: Wrap the thread forward to just behind the eye of the hook.

Step 23: Wrap the Estaz forward and tie it off just behind the eye of the hook.

Step 24: Wrap forward the hackle and tre it in the same place as the Estaz.

Step 25: Wrip finish and apply head cement.

Step 26: The finished fly with grizzly hackle.