Flats Flies with Attitude

Add these shrimp patterns to your fly box and catch more fish.

by Dick Brown

1 – Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp

Hook: Tiemco TMC811S or Eagle Claw 054SS, sizes 6 to 1.
Thread: Pink 3/0 (210 denier).
Eyes: Glass beads on 20-pound-test monofilament dipped in epoxy, or 80-pound-test monofilament with melted ends dipped in nail polish.
Antennae: Black Krystal Flash. Rostrum/front of head: Craft fur or Polar Fibre, and pearl Krystal Flash.
Egg sac: Orange egg yarn or Enrico’s EP Fiber.
Legs: Sili Legs, tan or your choice of color.
Weight: Bead chain, lead dumbbell, or brass dumbbell to match the size of the fly and achieve the desired sink rate.
Weed guard (optional): Loop of 20-pound-test monofilament.
Back/body: Three or four bunches of rabbit hair.
Bottom finish: E-Z Shape Sparkle Body.

Tying notes: Eric Peterson says the rabbit fur must include both guard hairs and underfur to give the fly proper shape and lifelike motion. He strongly prefers rabbit that is naturally barred, regardless of its color. Avoid overdressing the fl y; smaller bunches of rabbit fur are better, and the underfur creates ample bulk. Tie in the legs on a horizontal plane at a 45-degree angle to the hook shank so they pulsate when stripped through the water.

2 – Strip Tease

Hook: Gamakatsu SL11-3H or Mustad 34007, size 6 or 4.
Thread: Orange 3/0 (210 denier).
Weight: Bead chain or lead barbell to match the size of the fly and achieve the desired sink rate.
Eyes: Two strands of 80-pound-test monofilament with melted ends. Color the ends with orange or black Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail polish.
Antennae: Two strands of black Krystal Flash.
Rostrum/mouthparts: Natural tan rabbit hair pulled from the hide.
Egg sac/underbody: Orange sparkle rug yarn.
Legs/claws: Sili Legs, orange-tipped or your choice of color.
Body: Sand-colored Wapsi SLF Saltwater Dubbing .
Wing/carapace: Tan Polar Fibre or craft fur, and two strands o f pearl Krystal Flash.

Tying notes: By selecting different hues of dubbing and fluorescent thread, you can easily alter the body color and its inner glow to approximate the natural prey. Two of the most popular combinations are tan dubbing with orange thread and olive with chartreuse thread.

3 – Phantom Crab

Hook: Gamakatsu SL-12, size 2.
Thread: Orange 3/0 (210 denier).
Eyes: Nickel-plated lead dumbbell.
Flash (optional): Two short strands of orange Krystal Flash.
Rostrum/egg sac: Orange rabbit hair.
Legs: Two strands of tan/black or white/black barred rubber legs, or two Cree saddle hackles.
Body: Fluorescent orange Saltwater SLF Dubbing Blend.
Carapace: Mullet brown and off-white Steve Farrar’s Flash Blend.

Tying notes: Smooth out and align the Flash Blend using a small, fine comb. Press a small amount of head cement or Zap-ADap-A-Goo II into the fibers to flatten them slightly and fix them into a fan-shaped carapace.