Ken's Incredibly Simple Shrimp - AKA KISS - Shrimp flies are very much en vogue in the Baltic region, and keep on getting more and more complex. This one is simple and dead easy to tie - and still a very good imitation - Global FlyFisher

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Ken's Incredibly Simple Shrimp - AKA KISS

Published Apr 8th 2013

Shrimp flies are very much en vogue in the Baltic region, and keep on getting more and more complex. This one is simple and dead easy to tie - and still a very good imitation


KISS is not (always) a rock band

The Danish and Scandinavian shrimp flies for sea trout have gotten more and more life-like and more and more realistic over the past few years. Rubber legs, pre-made legs and eyes, printed foils, light curing resins, eel skin and all sorts of exotic materials and techniques seem to the the order of the day, and the complexity is ever increasing.

Simple does it
This fly from the hands of Danish tyer and GFF regular Ken Bonde Larsen goes in the opposite direction and simplifies things. The most complex part of the fly is a dubbing loop, and that can hardly be called complex compared to many of the techniques used in many contemporary shrimp flies.
The fly uses few materials, all easy to find and cheap. It employs few tying steps and should be possible to tie for even beginning fly tiers. Still it ends up as a pretty good impression of a shrimp and can be adapted to different looks by a simple change of material colors.

Color variations

The Magic Tool
Ken uses Marc Petitjean's Magic Tool to make the dubbing loop, but you can just use a regular dubbing loop technique without tools or with a common bulldog clamp or simply your fingers. The tool does make it much easier, though.

Step A - the base part - Place the base part of the Magic Tool on the table
Step A - the base part
Step B - place feather - Place the first feather on the tool with the stem over the groove
Step B - place feather
The fly is tied with CDC feathers, which are not commonly used in saltwater flies, but have the same fantastic ability to catch air and add life in the salt as they do in freshwater flies.

It also incorporates the new Danish Easy Shrimp Eyes, which are pre-made monofilament eyes that are very easy to handle and use and secure a uniform result every time. Their only drawback is a high price. Of course you can just use normal home made mono eyes, which opposite the Easy Eyes are pleasantly cheap, but just take some time to make.

Easy Shrimp eyes

Ken's Incredibly Simple Shrimp

TypeCold saltwater fly
Ken Bonde Larsen
Year of origin
Target species
Sea trout (sea run)

HookStraight eye saltwater hook, size 2-6
WeightLead wire or substitute
Tying thread8/0 to suit the color of the fly, or clear mono
Tail (thorm)CDC barbs
Eye supportDubbing and CDC barbs
EyesEasy Shrimp Eyes
BodyDubbing and CDC barbs in dubbing loop

The dubbing can be Lite Brite, Angel Hair or a similar flash dubbing.
The Easy Shrimp Eyes can be replaced with home made or store bought monofilament eyes.

Tying the fly

Fishing the fly
There's no big challenge in fishing the fly. Use a floating line over shallow water and a sinking or intermediate line (or leader) over deeper water. Shrimp are after all bottom dwellers. You can adjust the weight of the fly with the weight added in the first tying step. For a really heavy fly you can change the eyes to dumbbell eyes and get a fly that really dives.
Strip the fly in small jerks interchanged with slow figure-of-eight retrieves and pauses where you allow it to sink. Shrimp are typically still or moving very slowly, but escape with sudden and very fast jerks.

User comments
From: Lars-Olof - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted May 10th 2013

A very useful fly, make it black with red eyes and smile like me when fishing in our streams in the south of Sweden.

From: Cornelis · Corneel77·at·  Link
Submitted April 9th 2013

gotta love easy flies.....the glitter shrimp is almost the same...even more easy without a dubbing loop...


From: Ted - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted April 8th 2013

Love it. Tying my shrimp somewhat similar after one I got one from Henning (or was it Paul?) with SLF dubbing and have been catching ever since! Thanks again ;-)

From: Brian · brian_elward·at·  Link
Submitted April 8th 2013

Nice quick tie. I have my own shrimp (I call it EPKISS :) ) tied with a EP shrimp dub brush, thats an even quicker tie than working with the magic tool. Great for bones and seatrout

Comment to an image
From: JohnR · stringwalker420·at·  Link
Submitted June 14th 2013

Where do you get these shrimp eyes in the USA?

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Part of the theme:
Tying shrimp flies
How to tie the best shrimp fly patterns. Imitations of shrimp for saltwater fishing for bonefish, sea trout and many more fish that eat shrimps.