Shmancy Shminnow Shrimp

Saltwater Fly Shrimp Pattern

I wanted to do a fancier versions of Ziegler's Shminnow as a shrimp pattern.  The worst case scenario for this pattern is:  It doesn't work and you have to cut off the flash, rubber legs and duck topping to get back to the underlying Shminnow which you know will work.

 Bold means true to the original Ziegler Shminnow
  • Hook:   Straight eye Stainless or plated, Mustad 9177 here
  • Thread:   White or Chartreuse, here Fluorescent Lite Pink
  • Tail:        Marabou White or Tan
  • Flash:      Tan Krystal Flash for Tail & Under Wing
  • Rubber Legs:  Tan here
  • Dubbing:         Antron & Flash Blend here
  • Body:         Pearl Estaz or similar
  • Eyes:         Mono Eyes or plastic bead chain
  • Topping:    Duck Breast, Mallard (White), WoodDuck (Tan)

I switched to tan Krystal Flash from the Black Dyed Pearl show above.  I think the Krystal flash would be good tied under the duck topping because the Tan Long Flash Chenille I am using doesn't have any real flash in it that would show under the water.  The flash you see is just glare of the tan plastic fibers.

The green iridescence on this tan Krystal flash looks so shrimpy.  Choose a medium sized duck feather.  Use plastic eyes (if any) on this pattern as metal eyes on top would flip it over or take away any sense of balance it would appear to have as it moves through the water.

For this Tan version, I don't know what tread color would be best or when it might matter.  This fly should work well in White or Gray with Mallard Breast topping.  Use a medium sized duck breast feather.

The most secure way to tie in synthetic fibers in is to center tie them, then either stroke them back over the top as for the above dubbing clump, or tie them in forward of their final tie in point and fold them back, wrap thread back to the tie in point, pinning half to each side.  This works well with flash and rubber legs which were done as 2 separate steps here.

For thicker underbody tie in the chenille end with extra length to bind it down on the shank as you advance your thread to the eye.

Not many turns of thread are needed to tie in these eyes and other materials at the head of the fly.  A smaller thread head with less thread wraps looks better.


To make a Duck Breast Topping:  1)  Split the excess fibers and stroke them out of the way to the right,  2) Tie the feather on top of the head about 1/8 inch onto the good side of the fiber split, use 2 or 3 thread wraps,  3) hold down on this tie in point with the left hand, then use the right hand to pull the butt stem of the feather about another 1/8 inch forward through the thread wraps,  4)  while still holding the feather down, bind it down tightly to the head with a couple of thread wraps,  5)  Examine the pulled through fibers, they should slightly cup around the wing or sholder of the fly.  If it looks good, cut the butt away and whip finish the head.  If its not ok, unwrap it and repeat. 


If you have questions or comments send an email.

Thanks,  Dan

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