Fly tying and design for the flats: Part 5- Tying the fly

IN which we actually put the pieces together on the hook…

A fly that works in our situation (clear water, sandy bottom, few weeds) will need to be be totally different from one that works in murky water with muddy bottom and prevalent weeds. Another note before we go on, many good flats anglers will tie multiple versions of the same fly with the only difference being the amount of weight contained in the fly. A different sized dumbbell eye for deeper flats to shallower flats all the way to unweighted for tailing fish in water that isn’t much deeper that morning dew. So let’s get back to our new fly, a shrimp has long antennae, buggy eyes, lots of wiggly legs, a segmented body and many little swimmers on its tail. Take a good look at a photo or even better, hold a live one in your hand or put it in a bucket and watch how it moves. Put all the pieces together and be prepared to toss your first try in the trash (better yet cut it all off, save the hook and start over). If you observe and think, you’ll come up with something good. My favorite shrimp fly is the Seaducer which, ironically considering the previous line of thought here, was invented by Chico Fernandez but then discovered to have been invented by Joe Brooks 50 years previously. But if I take a Seaducer and add some weighted eyes of different sizes and maybe add some kind of estaz to wrap the hackle around, i have a variation that may work better than the standard one in all the books. so sometimes it’s not inventing a whole new fly but just coming up with a variation on a standard to match the situation.

shrimp

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