Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Super Shrimp - experiments in fly fusion

I'm not that good at it but
I love tying flies. All sorts of flies. Not exhibition flies. Fishing flies. I love trying to solve fishing problems with new fly designs. If they don't fish well they go in the bin no matter how well they look. I heard it said that most shop flies catch more anglers than fish. I also heard it said that the problem is fish don't have any money. So commercial flies have to appeal to anglers. And that is the great advantage of tying for yourself and pleasing yourself with your designs. You can do what you like. I like to tie flies that catch fish and I like my flies to be idiot simple to tie. If they also turn out to be something rather beautiful that's a lovely bonus.

Kebari patterns appeal to me because they are very simple and need very limited materials to construct, yet can be applied to many different fishing scenarios. From this basic starting point I started to think about how I might design a fly that was very simple a quick to tie and consisted of a single hackle, some thread and a hook, yet would give an impression of a meaty mouthful. My quarry in mind is summer chub and I have watched them feeding well on what I take to be freshwater shrimp in a chalkstream not too far away. My intention is to create an exaggerated shrimp dressing that while not being very imitative, might have enough of a trigger about it to get it nailed.

Then I saw the Teeny Nymph tied by tied by Robert Olsen in the Summer Issue of Tenkara Angler magazine. Inspired by this I added in a tail and half palmered the hackle (I think a bit of north country spider crept in somewhere too). A real fly-fusion. It's probably been done somewhere before but it's new to me and anyway I'm not looking for immortality by having a pattern named after me.  I'm very happy with the end result and I hope the chub are too..  

Speaking of Tenkara Angler I'm dead chuffed to have my humble little article appearing in the current issue just out yesterday. Massive thanks to Mike Agneta at troutrageous.com  
for all his hard work in delivering such a great free resource



  1. I'm heading to the Southern Atlantic coast next week. I hope to get to the vise and tie this up for some tight line action.

    1. Tight Lines my friend! ..be sure to let us know how you get on.

  2. So cool what you did with the fly fusion. Thanks for the nod by the way, and the contribution to the magazine. Glad Robert's fly found you well.