OE Deep Diving Shrimp

Published Feb 16th 2006

Looking natural in both salt and fresh water


Oliver Edwards needs no further introduction. He has been developing flies and contributing to the scene for years now, and his considerations and explanations have attracted my attention from time to time.
In the mid 90s I bought his book Flytyers Masterclass, but when I recently saw one of his DVDs, I looked at the Deep Diving Shrimp with new eyes.

Lady of the stream, brownies, rainbows and several other species like the taste of a Gammarus. You find it in very different environments from smallest fresh water streams to salt water.
This is a pattern as all round as Red Tag. The silhouette, the speckled legs and the shell back makes it become alive both in the vice and at the end of the tippet.

Last year I tied some in two different colours. A warm orange and a pale green. This was the first super impressionistic imitation, which I dipped in salt water in hunt for the shining sea trout.

It was a bright and sunny day. Almost no wind and crystal clear water. Not perfect for fishing, but probably good for the hunting trout. I stood on a sand covered flat in hip deep water. 4-5 meters in front of me, it became deeper. A few rocks were lying at the bottom covered with bladder wrack.

The Aquarium - It is extremely rare to see sea run brown trout this way! But when you do and want to fish for them, a good imitation can be desireable.
The Aquarium
OEDDS - The Oliver Edwards Deep Diving Shrimp is not really a shrimp, but rather a scud, a cress bug or a Gammarus.

Suddenly, 4 trouts patrolled along the edge. I was fishing in another direction and just below the surface. These trouts swam just above the bottom.
They disappeared as quickly as they emerged.
Five minutes later, the area was patrolled again - by two smaller trouts. That made it. I changed to the new, heavy gammarus imitation. I extended the leader and waited. And waited. Or at least I felt so. I think I waited for five minutes when 2 more cruised the area. It was like looking into an aquarium.
I dropped the fly and saw it sink. It was one feet above the bottom, when one of the trouts made a calm acceleration and sipped in the fly. I lifted the rod...

Company - At least bugs seem to like me.
Orange mouthfulls - Juicy and nicely curved - exactly like the imitation.
Orange mouthfulls

A rare experience when fishing for sea trouts which is normally done under more rough circumstances.

Now, I have tied 10 more, which will be suitable when it is cold, and when the trout become more selective. Maybe I will tie some for my friends or just send them the link to this page.

OE Deep Diving Shrimp

HookKamasan B100 or Mustad CZ Authentic Czech Nymph Size 10-18.
WeightLead free foil.
Thread8/0, color to match the dubbing.
TailBarbs of brown-grey partridge hackle.
AntennasAs tails, but smaller clump.
RibClear nylon mono, 4-6 lbs.
ShellbackFlexibody, clear.
BodyFine dubbing, like MC 14.
LegsBarbs of brown-grey partridge hackle.

Shellback cut into shape -
Shellback cut into shape

Tying instructions
  1. Add weight 6-10 wraps. Make two layers, the upper one shortest. Secure it with some super glue
  2. Tie in tail well down the hook shank.
  3. Take the thread to the eye. Tie in the antennas.
  4. Take the thread back to where you tied in the tail.
  5. Tie in the rib.
  6. Cut out the shell back. It should be oval or shaped like a long drop stretched in both ends.
  7. Tie in the shellback.
  8. Make a dubbing loop.
  9. Dub the body.
  10. Prepare 6-8 partridge hackles by removing the fluffy parts.
  11. Wax the dubbing loop.
  12. Get the hackles into the loop.
  13. Make sure they do not come out or move. Align the points and ajust them to the final lenght of the legs.
  14. Cut off the stems 1-2 mm from the dubbing loop.
  15. Spin.
  16. Take out the hackle points.
  17. Spin again.
  18. Turn the dubbing loop towards the eye in nice equal turns.
  19. Secure it at the eye.
  20. Moisten your fingers and make the fibres point down.
  21. Pull the shell back towards the eye.
  22. Secure the shell back.
  23. Whip finish.
  24. Rib the fly in nice turns.
  25. Whip finish.

Step 1 - Add a few wraps of heavy wire and secure with thread and varnish
Step 1
Step 2 - The tail sits way down the hook bend and the rib is tied in pointing rearwards
Step 2

Step 3 - The precut back is tied in
Step 3
Step 4 - Dub the body and tie in the antennae after having created a dubbing loop in the rear end of the fly
Step 4

Step 5 - Ready for the hackle
Step 5
Step 6 - Hackle ready to be put into a dubbing loop
Step 6

Step 7 - Cut off hackle stem and spin the loop
Step 7
Step 8 - Wind the hackle forwards
Step 8

Step 9 - Brush down the hackle tips and cover with the shell back
Step 9
Step 10 - Rib the fly
Step 10

Step 11 - Varnish the shell
Step 11
Step 12 - The finished fly
Step 12

Olive - The olive version is typically good for stream fishing
Pale green - The pale green version is very close to the natural look of the salt and fresh water gammarids.
Pale green
Red - I did not have orange hackles so I tied a red one instead, but some of the salt water species are actually very red.

Tricolore - The whole collection

User comments
GFF staff comment
From: Kasper Mühlbach · kasper·at·muehlbach.dk  Link
Submitted September 23rd 2010


I place 2-4 feathers in the loop. Then I adjust the length, tighten the loop slightly, snip off the extend on the "non-leg side", spin the loop. Whoa!


From: Thomas Fiedorek · fiedorek·at·gmail.com  Link
Submitted September 21st 2010

Mr. Muhlbach,

I am confused about how to place the partridge hackles in the dubbing loop. I am not sure how to adjust them to the final length of the legs. If you could explain the process for me it would be great. Thanks a lot for your help.


From: Mark Sanders · msanders·at·woosh.co.nz  Link
Submitted November 18th 2009

That's a very neat fly. We have small sand-hoppers that live in the intertidal region of sandy beaches here in New Zealand that look exactly the same. I've been looking for a fly to tempt the very selective Sea Trout near my home in the lower Waikato river and I have tied a few of these with great hope (because nothing else has worked so far!! -These are the most difficult Trout to catch I've ever come across anywhere in the world).

From: Anonymous  Link
Submitted February 14th 2009


Great tutorial. I was looking for it for the long time.
Can you please explain how do you looping the hackle in the little more details?

When you putting hackle in the loop do you align hackle tips with hook shank?

Thank you

GFF staff comment
From: Kasper Mühlbach  Link
Submitted January 21st 2008


Flexibody is a slightly stretchable plastic material. You can It is thin and is attached to a piece of stiff paper, which is removed when cut into desired shape.

It is available in many fly shops.

Thanks for your comment and good luck at the vice.

From: Tom Gibbons · h-s322·at·hotmail.com  Link
Submitted January 18th 2008

Hello Mr. Muhlbach,
Thank you for this wonderful shrimp fly,and all honor to Mr. Edwards.This place is glorious.Tell me sir, what is ,#1-"Shellback,and #2-"Flexibody"?,so that I may pursue the tying part and go fish it immediatly.
Sincerely,God be with you.

From: Terry Still · Treyden·at·hotmail.com  Link
Submitted July 16th 2007

oliver your flys are the best i one day hope to tie flys as well as you i have a book of yours that is in german and i cant under stand it but i have started tieing from the pictures in it and i think there not bad but still learning.thank because of you fly are fun to tie again. thank from the yukon.

From: tieandfly·at·postmaster.co.uk  Link
Submitted February 9th 2007

Oliver Edwards is legend, I've seen the DVD of his prawn tieing and everything comes together, i owe many trout catches to the man.

From: Andry · andrfly56·at·mail.ru  Link
Submitted December 7th 2006

I liked your shrimp. Fine. Thanks

From: Bill Voss · blaumax·at·tds.net  Link
Submitted November 28th 2006

Excellent imitation! I'll be tying up a few to use around the marshes of north Florida and south Georgia. By the way, fantastic website, I've gotten better information from here than anywhere else!

GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·globalflyfisher.com  Link
Submitted July 9th 2006


The trout that is referred to in this article is the sea run brown trout.


From: John Bradford · jbradfo4·at·bellsouth.net  Link
Submitted July 9th 2006

You mention using this fly for salt water fishing,ie.salt water trout. Do I take this to mean
spotted weakfish, or sea run trout such as the rainbow ect.?

From: Andrew Foster · gfos1111·at·bigpond.net.au  Link
Submitted March 25th 2006

what a great fly! in Australia we call them prawns, (ignore the Paul Hogan "throw another shrimp on the BBQ), and I'm sure that with suitable colour changes, they will work here

Comment to an image
From: Blatt · blattman·at·ig.com.br  Link
Submitted June 13th 2008

Hmmm, maybe this green one may also work fine for the mullets!?

GFF staff comment
Comment to an image
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·globalflyfisher.com  Link
Submitted September 1st 2008


Click the image to go to a page with a full recipe for the fly - including the leg material, which is barbs of brown-grey partridge hackle.


Comment to an image
From: cenc · lorenzo·at·email.si  Link
Submitted September 1st 2008

nice shrimps, what u use for legs?

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