reproduced by kind permission of Dave Downie (Daver)

Here is my most succesful top dropper when buggin for grayling

Hook: - Size 10 or 12 B110
Thread: - Black UTC 70
Underbody: - Flat Lead sheet adhesive (Definite Advantage)
Rib: - Fine Gold Wire
Shellback: - Jan Siman Magic Shrimp Foil No-25
Body: - Hare body dubbed 1/2 then Hot Orange Dubbing 1/4 then 1/4 Hare body dubbing again.
Colouring on Shellback: - Brown Pantone Pen Henna Colour in the Letraset Range.

Step 1

Lead hook up until nice and flat, 2 layers shown above, but you can do one layer or more layers if added weight is needed. See my website on how to lead hook: -

Step 2

Run thread up and down sparingly and then leave in the middle.

Step 3

Tie in the gold wire rib and run thread down to bottom of the bend where the lead ends.

Step 4

Ties in the Magic shrimp foil.

Step 5

Dub the hares ear then the hot orange dubbing then hares ear again.

Step 6

Apply the dubbing onto the hook shank using your finger to stroke it backwards as you wind up towards the eye.

Step 7

Next step is pretty important, I use the pantone Henna pen to colour the underside of the shellback, not the top side at this time. This allows me to have a dark colour on the shrimp but still allow pearl to glimpse through when I need it

Step 8

Next stage is to simply position the shellback and tie off, but you must actually stretch the shell back so that it fits nice and cover approx half the shrimp on both sides as you can see. Tie off and remove any excess foil for the next fly. At this point I like to whip finish the fly to allow me the luxury of the thread not coming loose and pinging my shellback off.

Step 9

The shellback tied off and whip finished.

Step 10

Rib the fly so that you have 3 turns of wire before the orange hotspot and one turn right after the orange hotspot. I do not rib the hotspot at all. Trim off excess wire and whip finish.

Finished fly, well nearly

As you can see the fly has a nice natural brown colour to it with a bit of pearl glancing through it, dependent on what angle the light hits it, depends on what sheen comes from the fly. Very much like the original czech nymphs that used dried mackeral skins for shellbacks and still do .

I much prefer to give the back of the fly another coat with the Henna pen again then leave to dry, reason being is that when you run a coat of hard as nails over the shellback it seems to dilute the brown pen and give a great colour to the fly making it very very natural looking indeed .

Happy tying.



PS word of warning, if you do decide to use the pen on the back and then hard as nails it, then your hard as nails will start to become brown , so I keep a bottle aside for doing these flies only.