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Home->Articles->Fly Patterns->Archives->Pearl Shrimp   
Fly Patterns
Pearl Shrimp

Hook:        Daiichi 1120 or 1250 #8-14
Thread:     MFC 8/0 or UTC 70,Olive
Rib:           Fine Copper or Red Wire
Body:        Arizona Sparkle Nymph dubbing or Sealís Fur (Color to suit)
Shellback: Pearlescent Sheet Material

Scuds are arguably the number one food source for trout in productive stillwaters through out the entire year and can be considered the premier stillwater staple. Only during peak emergences of other food sources do scuds take a back seat. Yet despite scuds obvious appeal to trout fly fishers are reluctant to knot a scud pattern onto their tippet. Underrated and un-respected they have become the Rodney Dangerfield of stillwater food sources.

The Pearl Shrimp is a simple design that utilizes a pearlescent back constructed of a material available in many craft shops, Paper Twist. Paper Twist is a pearlescent rope that is dispensed on large cardboard rolls. Five dollars should buy a lifetime supply. To prepare the Paper Twist cut of a two to three in length using a stout pair of scissors. Once cut unravel the Paper Twist and cut it into proportional thin strips using a straight edge and a razor or Exacto knife. Once prepared, tie the Paper Twist strip in place at the eye of the hook leaving enough material to pull back over the pattern forming the distinctive shellback. Complete the balance of the fly pull the Paper Twist over the body and secure in place with the copper wire. The end result is a durable realistic design ready to dart, dive and scurry through the weeds.

Prime times to fish scud patterns are when fishing seems incredibly slow, early morning, evening and during the early spring and fall. Keep the retrieve varied, as scuds are anything but consistent in their locomotive. Favored fly lines include; floating, intermediate, Midge Tip or Rio's Outbound Hover.

Tying Instructions

1) Cover the hook shank with tying thread. Secure the ribbing down the near side of the hook. Return the tying thread to hook eye area.

2) Trim a narrow section of pearlescent shellback material, about half the hook gape is fine. Cut one end of the shellback material to a picket point. Tie in the shellback material by the point at the hook eye so the balance protrudes forward in front of the hook.

3) Form a dubbing loop at the rear of the hook. Load the dubbing loop with dubbing and carefully twist tight until the dubbing fibres radiate 90 degrees to the loop. Wind the dubbing loop forward to the hook eye. Tie off and trim the excess. The finished body should taper, becoming gradually thicker towards the front.

4) Place a half turn rotation in the wire rib so it hangs straight down below the body. Sweep the dubbing fibres down below the fly to clear a path for the shellback.

5) Pull the shellback material back over the top of the body and hold in place. Spiral the wire rib forward using open turns forward to the hook eye. Tie off the wire and using a pulling and twisting motion break away the excess.

6) Build a neat tapered head, whip finish and apply head cement. Use a Velcro dubbing teaser to roughen the body and pull the fibres down. Trim the dubbing fibres flush along the sides and on a tapered angle beneath the fly. The dubbing fibres should be longer toward the front to match the profile of the natural scuds. Holding the scissors points on a 30 angle down and away from the rear of the fly trim the shellback even with the hook bend.

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