Behind the Fly

Behind The Fly - RIO's Fiddler On The Reef

RIO February 02, 2022


Though Pacific Northwest steelhead streams and Puget Sound saltwater beaches are her daily jaunts, Brita Fordice, RIO Fly Designer, is no stranger to saltwater flats around the globe. But, with no shortage of travel restrictions in place from the ongoing pandemic, it wasn't long before Brita found herself daydreaming, slightly more than usual, of perfect casts and permit eats.

Thus she began scheming up what would quickly become a favorite crab pattern. Knowing just how well Strong Arm and Alphlexo crab patterns perform, Brita had the genius to combine the two, creating an offspring of sorts—RIO's Fiddler on the Reef was born. Designed with two sets of lead eyes and absolutely zero flash, Brita tells us, "It shouldn't spook any fish... as long as you keep your loops tight."

While hunkered down in Washington state, we sent the prototype out to our family of reps and ambassadors who call tropical saltwater home. This crab quickly earned the nickname "Permit Producer." So long as a permit was in sight, this crab got down to business. But it didn't stop at turquoise blue waters. It jumped on the next flight to a different kind of saltwater—New England flats. It became beloved by stripers here, making it quite the universal crab thanks to olive colorways for the darker waters where stripers feed and a camouflage blue for those searching for the elusive permit.