Low Down Gurgle Shrimp

Saltwater Shrimp Pattern Topwater Pattern

This Gurgler variation is low on foam with the buoyancy forward and the weight behind.  It will:  A) float low, hanging vertically from the tip of its foam lip,  or B) slowly sink tail first depending on the weight of 30lb fluorocarbon bite leader and 12lb tippet dragging it down.  Here are 2 flies tied on the same hook but the second one has a wider and longer piece of the same 3mm thick foam.

The pale tan foam, craft fur and rubber legs would hard to see from a seagulls point of viewed from above a light colored sand bottom, and presumably also hard for a fish to see looking up from below into a bright sky.  The flash and the moving legs might be the main visual triggers.

When you give this fly a sharp short twitch, you will be jerking the fly sideways through the water which is the way to move the most water and send the biggest infra sound signal to the fish's lateral line.  It will also make a visible wake, disturb the surface, cause the fly to rise up, then fall back down backwards, and shake the flash, legs and tail.

 Low Down Gurgle Shrimp 

  • Hook      Straight Eye saltwater bent as shown  Mustad 34007 #1 here
  • Thread    210 Flymaster+ Fire Orange
  • Tail         Shrimp Color  Craft Fur, remove most underfur, even up long tips
  • Body      Dubbing or plastic chenille similar color of tail and foam
  • Hackle    Palmered Shrimp colored Saddle
  • Topping  Duck breast feather
  • Flash      Folded to each side
  • Head      3mm Foam Strip cut a bit wider than hook gap
  • Legs       Silicon folded to each side of the foam tie down neck
  • Neck Fill   Dubbing same color as body.

Bending down the eye will make some clearance from the overhanging foam.  Bending down a bit of the forward part of the shank will help this marginal quality Mustad 34007 hook by making the high barb easier to set and also hold fish a little better during the fight.  If you break off the barb, the bent down shank will definitely hold fish better.

Preparing the Craft Fur tail clumps is time consuming so I did all the combing, cutting, pulling out excess shorts, evening too long tips all together at first.  The excess Craft Fur short fibers was a main ingredient of the dubbing blend.  Chopped sparkle yarn and some tan Master Bright flash was blended in.

The above head base needs to be this long to avoid crowding out the eye.  Ideally, the slope of this head base would be not so sharply tapered.

For Gurglers and foam Divers, the hook gap is a good reference for how wide to cut your foam strip.  Here the foam is a bit wider than the hook gap.  3mm thick foam is good for anything bigger than size #4.  2mm thick foam works good on smaller flies.  The foam should be tied in securely so it won't twist easily.  

I start by crossing the thread across the top of the strip so the thread makes the 4th side of a square for the overhanging foam.  Thick 210 denier thread is good for 3mm foam.  The foam needs to be crushed down with lots of tension and lots of neat, side by side wraps to make a tie down band nearly as wide as the foam is thick.  A good way to do this is after you get several wraps tight, pull backward on the back end of the foam while pinching tightly next to where each new wrap will fall preceding back until you have the tie down band wide enough.


This makes a neat scalloped cut if you can get it right.  If I pinch it symmetrically, lift it straight up and cut it exactly horizontally, my right handed scissors will cut the far side longer than the near side.  I find I have to pinch it as if to cut the far side shorter, then I can get an pretty even cut.  




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