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Mating Shrimp

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This is one of those flies that seems to catch fish - trout and grayling - when all else fails. Weighted well it fishes deep on the point, and can be backed up with a couple of spiders. Although it is a little complex to tie, its appearance in the early months of the season more than makes up for the swearing at the tying bench.

Weighting method: I have my own method of weighting, and will send anyone who wants a copy the relevant article from Flyfishing and Fly Tying (May 2000, p54). Just email me your snail mail address and it will send in the post.


Hook: Ashima F50 curved nymph hook size 10
Underbody: Single, double, single WOW
Thread: Unithread 8/0 olive
Rib: 4 to 6 lb clear nylon
Shellback: Veniard Bodystretch yellow (cut down by one-third lengthwise, ad trimmed to a point for tying in)
Body: Partridge Finesse olive dubbing
Hot spot: Fluo red wool
Head: Olive thread


Start off with the weighting as in the article, putting the doubled lead in the centre of the shank. Overwind and then tie in the rib and the shellback immediately at the rear of the lead. Stetch the bodystretch to the rear as you run the thread down and back to the rear of the fly.

Dub on the first half of the body, making sure that the dubbing is shaggy. Tie in the red wool at the midpoint of te body and put on two or three turns to make sure it is very obvious. Finish dubbing to the head. Bring the shellback forward making sure it is over the top of the body, and tie in with 4 or 5 turns. DO NOT trim the bodystretch at this stage.

Rib with 5 or 6 turns, tie in, trim off bodystretch and nylon and finish. Use a piece of velcro on a stick to tease out the dubbing fibres downwards. This will give the appearance of legs without all the strain of some other people's methods.

To impart a bit of a gleam anoint the shellback with thin varnish.

Tied by David Westwood.

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