Learn how to tie the Cruncher Nymph fly pattern, including step-by-step instructions, a video tutorial, pictures, and much more. Improve your fly-tying skills here.

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The Cruncher is a nymph pattern that has many variations. This is one of the most popular. I do not know the history of this fly but I suspect it has been around for a long time.

Material List

Step One

Begin your thread with a jam knot roughly two eye lengths behind the hook eye. Trim the excess, then wrap rearward to the bend of the hook.

Step Two

Select a feather from a ginger neck with fibers that are at least as long as the hook's shank--this fly provides a good opportunity to use those larger feathers at the top of the neck that aren't used as often as those on the bottom. Once you've selected a feather, peel off a small bunch, measure them to be about the length of the hook's shank and tie them in directly on top of the hook.

Step Three

Cut a length of copper wire that's a few inches long, then tie it in right at your initial tie-in point. Then wrap your thread rearward to the bend of the hook.

Step Four

Select four or five fibers off of a pheasant tail and tie them in by the tip right at the bend of the hook--instead of trimming the excess, just wrap your thread over it all the way to your initial tie-in point to help create a body.

Step Five

Now wrap your pheasant tail fibers up the hook shank until you reach the initial tie-in point--you want these wraps to be closely-touching. Tie off the excess fibers and trim them.

Step Six

Now wrap the copper wire in the opposite direction (towards you instead of away) all the way up the body of the fly. Tie off and trim the excess.

Step Seven

Select two strands of peacock herl--strung is fine, but we're pulling some fibers directly from a peacock eye for this fly--and tie them in right in front of the fly's body. Wrap your thread up to the hook eye.

Step Eight

Create the thorax of the fly by wrapping the peacock herl to be just in front of the hook's eye. Then tie it off and trim the excess.

Step Nine

Grab a furnace feather off of a hen cape and prep it by stripping the fibers off of the right side and tie it in by the base of the feather just in front of the thorax.

Step Ten

Now take three wraps of the hackle just in front of the thorax. Then, tie the feather off and trim the excess.

Step Eleven

Wrap your thread to create a small head, then finish the tying off with a whip finish and trim your thread. Then, add just a drop of head cement.

The Cruncher Nymph is now complete and ready to fish. A versatile pattern, you can rely on this fly whether you're seeking out natives on a small creek or drifting it through your favorite set of riffles on your home river.