If you’re sitting inside with a blanket of snow and the absence of degrees on the thermometer, it’s hard not to think warm thoughts. I took things a step further and began tying up some saltwater patterns for a late winter redfish trip to Florida’s panhandle. The three critters that make up a redfish diet includes shrimp, crab, and mullet. Without going overboard, I decided to tie up just one pattern for each delicacy and since it’s been awhile with the “how to tie” series, I decided I’d include my shrimp pattern.
The main thing about salty patterns is the overabundance of synthetic materials versus natural. There’s nothing really special other than the heavier, plated hooks. Here’s how I tie up my shrimp pattern.
Advance the thread rearward slightly wrapping onto the body you just created to ensure the fur will extend from the hook shank. Two or three turns is really all you need as you don’t want to wrap up on it too much. This is also my preferred time to band the body with a brown Sharpie. I’ve experimented with other colors and brown just happens to be my preferred color. Your mileage may vary, though.
Wet your fingers and slightly stroke the hackle rearward while making some wraps onto the hackle. This will pull the fibers rearward and provide a little more space for the next step.
I cut 3″ pencil-diameter sections of contrasting colored EP Fibers and begin “figure-8 wrapping” sections behind the legs of the fly. Here, I chose sand and brown. I’m usually able to complete four sections between the legs and the eyes. End with the thread directly behind the eyes.
The fibers are then gathered and pulled upward to be trimmed. Some prefer an upward angle beginning at the eye while other take curved-tip scissors and trim a rounded shape. When it comes to shrimp, I like the “V” shape and will angle my scissors upward. Again, this is personal preference and I have yet had a fish tell me it prefers one shape over the other.
After the fibers are trimmed, flatten them back out and if you want, you can give them a quick hit with a brush. In the photo above, the fly will rest with the hook point up. I hit the top of the fly with a couple drops of super glue to solidify the thread and fibers together.
This is a relatively easy fly to tie and is an effective shrimp pattern. They’re tied with redfish in mind but will also work on bonefish, permit, and any other salt species. If tied a little smaller and “buggier” I would also imagine they’d be decent for carp, too.
Thread: UTC 140 Brown
Hook: Tiemco 800S Size 4
Body: 3″ Craft Fur Brush
Legs: Strung Saddle Hackle (Natural Brown)
Tail: EP Fibers
Eyes: Medium Black Nickel Brass Dumbells
Bands: Brown Sharpie