The Kwan fly, a long-time popular redfish fly, started with the popular Kwan crab fly, characterized by the long, tan colored tail usually made with craft fur or EP fibers and usually having bars on it like a fish, made with a marker. Also characteristic is some orange included on the crab to represent the crab’s eggs. The easiest way to see what I mean is to do a search with “Kwan fly”, like so:
I never quite understood the Kwan fly because crabs don’t have a long tail. But there’s no question as to whether the fly works. I guess other folks didn’t understand that either and so other variations came on the scene. The Kwan Shrimp, Kwan Crab, Kwan Mullet all have the characteristic craft fur or EP tail with the bar markings.
I looked around for the origin of the word Kwan. I found a hip-hop group, a coin in Cambodia and some martial arts references. The one I like comes from the movie, “Jerry Maguire”. As a name for a fly I’ve always seen it spelled K-W-A-N. In this movie reference in the movie it might be “Quan” as in quantity. Or maybe not. Either way, it’s pretty funny, check this out:
I looked around for a standard Kwan fly tying video and I liked this pattern by Nick Clark/Mustad Fishing:
I chose to tie my first Kwan as a mullet because the long barred tail tends to make me think fish and when the big bulls are what you are after, the guides are telling you to go with big stuff and often, specifically, a big mullet imitation. The crabs get scarce in the winter but the mullet are always around.
So here’s my “Kwan”, or better yet, my “Ambassador of Kwan”, if you watched the Jerry Maguire clip to the end: