Published Mar 24. 2013 - 11 years ago
Updated or edited Oct 28. 2021

Ken's Incredibly Simple Shrimp

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.

The finished CDC shrimp - The shrimp is a suggestive imitation, but has the important characters of the shrimp: thorn and antennae, eyes and a translucent body
This is not a fly pattern - It\'s a rock band
KISS is not (always) a rock band
Martin Joergensen - WikiMedia, Wok

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.

Pink version - No Baltic shrimp pattern seems to be complete without a pink version. This one was tied by Henning Eskol and features teal \"tail\" and Polar Dub White Transparant from Hareline and Saltwater SLF 508 Fl. Shell Pink - and CDC of course
Variations - Since CDC is available in a very large variety of colors, you can easily adapt the pattern to any color scheme you like. Just use dyed CDC and a dubbing to match, and you are there
Color variations
Henning Eskol - Ken Bonde Larsen

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

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.

Step C - second feather

Step D - dubbing

Step E - place dubbing

Step F - mono

Step G - in the groove

Step H - all the way

Step I - clamp

Step J - clamped

Easy Shrimp Eyes - These Danish shrimp eyes are pre-made, very easy to tie in and of course 100% consistent in size and shape.
Easy Shrimp eyes
Easy Shrimp Eyes
Ken's Incredibly Simple Shrimp
Pattern type: 
Cold saltwater fly
Ken Bonde Larsen
Straight eye saltwater hook, size 2-6
Lead wire or substitute
Tying thread
8/0 to suit the color of the fly, or clear mono
Tail (thorm)
CDC barbs
Eye support
Dubbing and CDC barbs
Easy Shrimp Eyes
Dubbing and CDC barbs in dubbing loop
Skill level/difficulty: 

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

Step 1 - weight

Step 2 - tail

Step 3 - position tail

Step 4 - cover butts

Step 5 - flash

Step 6 - trim tail

Step 7 - CDC for dubbing

Step 8 - dub thread

Step 9 - dub

Step 10 - dubbing ball

Step 11 - eyes

Step 12 - tie in eyes

Step 13 - cover base

Step 14 - dubbing loop

Step 15 - add CDC and flash

Step 16 - spin

Step 17 - wrap the brush

Step 18 - tie down

Step 19 - tease out

Step 20 - whip finish

Step 21 - cut thread

Step 22 - varnish

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.


A very useful fly, m...

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

gotta love easy flie...

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


Love it. Tying my sh...

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 ;-)

Nice quick tie. I ha...

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


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