Published Jan 13. 2006 - 18 years ago
Updated or edited Oct 22. 2018


How many of your flies work both in salt and fresh water? How many of these actually look like something real? The Deep Diving Shrimp is such a fly. Oliver Edward's allround Gammarus imitation works equally well everywhere you find this very widespread animal.

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


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...


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.

Shellback cut into shape

OE Deep Diving Shrimp
Pattern type: 
Oliver Edwards
Kamasan B100 or Mustad CZ Authentic Czech Nymph Size 10-18.
Lead free foil.
8/0, color to match the dubbing.
Barbs of brown-grey partridge hackle.
As tails, but smaller clump.
Clear nylon mono, 4-6 lbs.
Flexibody, clear.
Fine dubbing, like MC 14.
Barbs of brown-grey partridge hackle.
Skill level/difficulty: 
A little difficult
  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

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

Step 11

Step 12


Pale green




Kasper Mühlbach's picture

Thomas, I place 2...


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!


Mr. Muhlbach, I a...

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.


That's a very neat f...

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).

Wow, Great tutori...


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

Tom, Flexibody is...


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.

Hello Mr. Muhlbach, ...

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.

oliver your flys are...

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.

Oliver Edwards is le...

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.

I liked your shrimp....

I liked your shrimp. Fine. Thanks

Excellent imitation!...

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!

Martin Joergensen's picture

John, The trout t...


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


You mention using th...

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.?

what a great fly! in...

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

skijeam46's picture

Nice flies ...

I have been tying scuds (to where they look just like a small shrimp) in just about the same pattern for years now, and the trout can not resist them. I have started fishing for panfish in a pond near my home and I think I will try this pattern below a strike indicator just to see what will happen. Like I said, it is a killer fly.


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