Published Oct 25. 2008 - 9 years ago
Updated or edited Nov 17. 2015

Staring Sunray Shadow

Ray Brook's classic the Sunray Shadow can hardly be outdone by any variation of this simple yet very efficient fly. But some people still like to add little details to killer patterns. This version of the Sunray has a body and eyes.

A row tied by Ken Bonde Larsen


Martin Joergensen

The Sunray Shadow has been a staple pattern in salmon fishing for decades. Its simplicity and efficiency is almost beyond description, and its catches talk for themselves.

It seems almost sacrilegious to try to "improve" such a fly, but in its own modest way the Staring Sunray Shadow can be considered slightly better than the original. Some people will argue strongly against this while others will only put a Sunray Shadow with body and eyes on their tippet. Because that's what the Staring Sunray Shadow is - a Sunray Shadow with eyes and a body.

Ray Brook's origonal Sunray Shadow is as simple as flies come. A wing and... nothing more, actually. The body is formed by the tube and there is no tail or any other fancy appendixes.

The staring version adds a body to give some more glare under the water and it also adds eyes under a small coating of epoxy. I have heard renowned Danish salmon angler and guide Henrik Mortensen say this fly can see where the fish are... That's hardly a fact, but it is a good fly.
As I also said, some people will consider it a desecration of Brook's pattern, but I always carry both the bare and the staring version in my boxes - or rather bags, because I usually keep my tube flies in ziploc plastic bags and the hooks in a small container.

Where it belongs - This Staring Sunray Shadow sits right where it belongs: in the jaw of a nice Icelandic salmon
Different strokes - This version has an arctic fox wing in stead of a goat wing. An excellent fish imitation as you can see.
Staring Sunrays
Martin Joergensen

Well, 'nuff said. Here is the pattern and setp-by-step images of Ken Bonde Larsen tying the fly.

Materials - A surprising number for such a simple fly
gff
Martin Joergensen
Staring Sunray Shadow
Pattern type: 
Tube fly
Originator: 
Ray Brooks (sort of) - tied by Ken Bonde Larsen)
Materials: 
Tube
1" plastic
Body
Braided mylar tube - silver or greenish/yellowish
Thread
Black
Underwing
Yellow Arctic fox
Upper wing
Two sections of black goat
Flash
Thin, clear, smooth flash, Angel Hair or similar
Topping
Peacock herl
Eyes
Stick on foil eyes, silver/black, 3.5-4 mm dia
Head
Epoxy or LCR
Difficulty: 
Easy
Instruction: 
See the images below

Step 1 - mylar tube


Step 2 - start the thread


Step 3 - trim


Step 4 - ready for the varnish


Step 5 - varnish


Step 6 - underwing


Step 7- trim


Step 8- first black wing


Step 9 - first wing on


Step 10 - after the trim


Step 11 - flash


Step 12 - second black wing section


Step 13 - wing in place


Step 14 - peacock herl


Step 15 - ready for eyes


Step 16 - eyes


Step 17 - epoxy


Step 18 - remove


Martin Joergensen
Sunray Shadow with eyes - finished fly - Everything dry and ready for a hook according to taste
Finished fly
Martin Joergensen

Comments

What is the tool you are...

What is the tool you are using to apply the eyes?

Martin Joergensen's picture

A knife...

Jared,

It's a simple hobby knife. One of those that have a blade you slide out and break off one piece at the time to get a new and fresh tip. You can essentially use anything to place the eyes: tweezers, a needle, a knife like here. Whatever you have and what works for you.

Martin


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