Full Motion Shrimp by Ken Collins - January 26, 2019
On one fishing trip to Cuba an important discovery was made during a super cold front weather change that lasted most of the trip. All of our normal fly patterns were not working. The fish were spooked by anything bright. We were customizing our on-the -leader fly patterns continually that week. Many of sparkly tying materials littered the bottom of our skiffs and were found drifting around our ankles while we waded our favourite flats.
Yes, we were hacking our flies apart to make them as dull as possible. One customer happened to have a collection of a pattern called the Mantis Shrimp. He was producing two fold numbers of fish each day in comparison to the rest of our group. This basic salt water hares ears with rubber legs fly pattern was the basis for the creation of the next Troutfitter FULL MOTION fly pattern. I added some other important fish catching features like the orange target, larger black eyes, and a really shrimpy colour of silicone legs to make this pattern the best it could be. This pattern has seen great results in every location I or customers have fished it.
Full Motion Shrimp Steps
Tying on and Fixing Eyes Tie onto hook with thread. Wrap entire straight part of hook shank with wraps of thread. Fasten bead chain eyes 2 bobbin nozzles back from hook eye. Apply head cement. (Do not crowd the eye of the hook)
Tying in Tag Wrap thread back towards bend of hook. Pinch yarn strand between fingers non bobbin hand hold in place bend of hook on top of hook shank. Now fasten to hook at this location with numerous wraps of thread (don’t let it twist around the shank). Make it as smooth as possible.
Tying in Nose Cone Pull wool strand hard and separate a tapered clump of fluffy wool. Find middle of clump and tie directly on top of orange tag fold other half of fluffy wool clump over so the both face same direction. These materials should half thread wraps end exactly the same place at the end of the straight part of the hook shank.
Tying Non Weighted Eyes At the same intersection of tag and cone affix black bead chain eyes. Add a drop of glue to make sure all these materials stay in position.
Tying Antennae Take one strand of loco leg - fold it in two and tie it into same location as previous materials. You can trim this for length later. Leave them full length for now so they stay out of the way for the rest of the tying process.
Make Dubbing Strand Loop Lengthen thread to about 10 inches by pulling more out of bobbin. Place a finger from non bobbin hand on strand and re wrap thread over hook shank. Keep loop of the thread open for placing polar fibre strands.
Spinning Hair in Dubbing Loop Polar fibre and craft fur come on synthetic woven skins. Remove a clump of hairs off skin making sure to keep fibres full length. Cut clump in three equal segments. Place tip portion of these fibres in between dubbing loop at the closest to hook position. Repeat for the other two clumps. Grab strands of thread with loop spinner or rotating hackle pliers and spin till all fibres of hair are twisted into a rope. Proceed to wrap hair rope around shank, while messaging hairs to lean forward - over black non weighted eyes. Only wrap this to approximately middle of hook shank. Clean up this area with a few extra wraps of thread while continuing to message hair fibres over black eyes.
Tying in Legs Take one loco leg strand and fold in half, trim loop end to make 2 perfect legs of proper length. Find middle of these legs and tie them perpendicular to the hook - make sure they point out the sides of the fly.
Repeat Dubbing Loop Step Make another dubbing loop and fit properly another clump of hairs with in strands. Finished fly by wrapping this dubbing rope up hook, around eyes and finish with one or two wraps between eye of hook and weighted bead chain eyes. This helps camouflage this sometimes to shiny appendage of this fly. Clean up area by pulling all hairs backwards over the fly, perform proper whip finish, trim off thread and apply a solid coat of cement. You don’t want this fly to fall apart after first cast or first fish. I have caught a dozen bonefish on the same fly on more than one occasion.