Every few years a trendy new fly emerges on the flats fishing scene that quickly gains a cult following among certain groups of anglers, especially the permit crowd. Unfortunately, most of these patterns are nothing more than a slight modification of Del Brown's classic Merkin crab fly. Very few of these "new" flies bring anything new to the table other than a lot of well managed PR (I'm looking at you Dorsey's Kwan,) or are any more effective than Del's original creation.
The Avalon Crab is different. This is the first fly I've seen in a long time that is a real departure from the Merkin with some innovative features that set it apart from almost everything else. The pattern was created for the untouched permit and bonefish flats of southern Cuba and even though it looks more like a shrimp, it will clearly fool any crab eater.
I've just started fishing with these flies here in Southwest Florida and so far it's been a redfish and sea trout killer. (Update: The pompano love it, too.) I have no doubt our baby tarpon will also clobber it thanks to the rattling beads tied over its shank. The noise they make sound just like the clicking of grass shrimp in our dark waters. The Avalon Crab really is a cool new pattern that everyone who chases fish on the flats should have in their box.