Fly Life Magazine

Fly Tying: A shrimp pattern you should serve

When I was a kid, Saturday morning was not about picking your chore nor negotiable – as in why me, later, or wouldn’t it be better if

The rulings were irrevocable, decisions challenged or deemed challenged “always” added more work. When a chore was meted out, and you felt you were getting the worst of the five brothers’ work details, you kept your mouth shut. You just did the assigned work knowing that if you complained using a comparison or work done half-assed as a reprisal, a ‘complete’ redo was demanded. No fixes – complete redo. Start at the beginning if “HE” thought that was possible, and another job to do.

Back in the day, one brother became obsessed with spending as much as an hour figuring out how not to do his job. One that could be done in 25 minutes, tops. His Saturday’s were always longer than ours. He never completely figured it out.

Thinking. It could be the problem

Today, I seem to have a similar DNA defect that exhibits itself when it comes to fly tying. I accept less than perfect and could spend up to a week looking for an “easier” way to tie a particular fly.

A fly that I think takes too long to tie does not make the list. A fly that calls for odd, expensive materials or has complicated drying issues never makes my list either. If it calls for a ‘saltwater’ hook (hate them) and cannot be tied on a tube, that won’t fly either. And a hook tied fly has size limit 0f 14 short, except for tube flies (obvious reasons – you tie on the tube, not the hook).


My tolerance does not include accepting easy to tie but will not catch fish. It has to be a ‘fish catcher’ that can tolerate being tied a little off. I will spend an hour on the phone verifying that a fly I want to tie has a track record, which brings me to this shrimp pattern tied by Argentinian Ruben Martin. It catches. Oh, yea!

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