One Mallard Shrimp
Published Jun 1st 2013
As a Baltic sea trout angler you can never get enough shrimp patterns, and this one was tied as a result of access to some really fine mallard feathers.
Paul, a German/American friend, kept one, nice, bright sea trout, and when he gutted it, he found two large, almost undigested shrimp in its stomach.
No big surprise there, because we had seen the shrimp in the fairly cold spring water and it's also a fact that the Danish sea trout have shrimp high on their menu - if not on top - especially in the spring where many other food sources are scarce.
In the type of fjord where we were fishing, the shrimp are some of the first animals to start buzzing around in the shallow water as soon as the sun starts heating it up just a bit.
So a shrimp fly or several should always be in the flybox of an angler who is seeking the spring sea trout in the Baltic.
Other people can fish pink and paintbrushes. To each his own.are very common, and I have expressed my opinion about the most common ones several times. I am not the type who ties on a large, pink paintbrush and calls it a shrimp imitation.
A pink paintbrush, yes, but a shrimp, no!
No doubt they can catch fish and have done so many, many times, but it's nothing that I find attractive even though the fish might. I prefer my shrimp smaller, grayish and a little more discrete and looking like the natural.
Other people can fish pink and paintbrushes. To each his own.
I had already been fooling around with mallard feathers on that same trip. Paul had actually brought a whole bag full of nice, large and regular feathers from mallard and gadwall, and I thought that one such feather ought to be able to produce a shrimp. The light barred barbs are fine for antennae, mouth parts, legs and the plumulaceous part at the base is excellent for dubbing. I added some Easy Shrimp Eyes and a bit of flash plus some LCR to make a shell, and the recipe for a nice shrimp was there.
The fly is really easy to tie, and the only advanced step is using Light Curing Resin for the shell, and even that is easy.
Shrimp flies are supposed to fish fairly deep, and over water depths in the 1-2 meter range or some 3-6 feet deep it should actually be on the bottom or at least close. That might call for a bit of weight, and adding some heavy wire under the body can be necessary unless you want to wait for the fly to sink or use an intermediate or sinking leader.
Shrimp are usually slow moving animals that hover gently over the bottom, rocks or sea weed, but once they are disturbed, they shoot off in a blitz fast jerk. You can partly mimic that with a steady and slow retrieve broken by some sudden, short pulls in the fly line.
You can tie the fly with the barred feathers from any of these birds. The One Gadwall Shrimp, The One Mallard Shrimp and the One Teal Shrimp. I don't think the fish will care.
I don't think the fish will care.