Staring Sunray Shadow - The classic - but with eyes - Global FlyFisher

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Staring Sunray Shadow

Published Oct 29th 2008

The classic - but with eyes


A row tied by Ken Bonde Larsen - Sunray Shadow flies with eyes - some with herl, some without
A row tied by Ken Bonde Larsen
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.

Staring Sunrays

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

Tube1" plastic
BodyBraided mylar tube - silver or greenish/yellowish
UnderwingYellow Arctic fox
Upper wingTwo sections of black goat
FlashThin, clear, smooth flash, Angel Hair or similar
ToppingPeacock herl

Tying instructions
See the images below

Finished fly

User comments
GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted October 30th 2008


The needle is from Guideline. Contact them for dealers - local or online. This needle was bought in the Danish shop Sportshuset (in Danish).


Comment to an image
From: Sarunas_St · sarunasst·at·  Link
Submitted October 30th 2008

Hi Martin,
I would like to ask where to buy that tying needle?
Can you write some e-shops in Europe?
Tight lines,

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Part of the theme:
Tying tube flies
All about tying flies on metal and plastic tubes, bottle tubes and even more about using cones disks and other tube fly materials. Saltwarer, salmon, sea trout, bass. Tubes work for them all.