Published Apr 26. 2020 - 4 years ago
Updated or edited May 5. 2020

Sunray Shadow Double

The Sunray Shadow in double hook format. An incredibly successful sea trout and salmon fly, especially for fresh run fish. It works well in the UK, Scandinavia but also on river such as the Rio Grande in Argentina. Fly dressed by Steffan Jones of

Martin Joergensen


The Sunray Shadow...

It is the simplest tubfly. Without a body defined by a moment of tying, only the plastic tube. Its name has been associated for decades with simplicity. Why call a long-winged fly The Sunray Shadow if it's not actually The SS? Altering the originals by the appearance of some variants does not do good to the new generations of fly tiers who learn that if a Kia resembles a Mercedes, we put the emblem in front and the name pasted there in the back, then we have a Mercedes. I can understand that this fly is inspired by a Sunray Shadow, but it can just as well be inspired by Spey Ghilli or another fly that has a long or very long wing. I'm sorry Steffan! :)

Martin Joergensen's picture

So right...


You are so right, and it's a common problem in my eyes, that people tie flies inspired by other patterns, but still call them the original name. In the case of the Sunray Shadow, you are dealing with a really classic archetype of a fly pattern, and you owe to the originator, Ray Brooks, to stick to the brilliant simplicity of the pattern.

But it's a battle against windmills, and personally I kind of enjoy seeing the wealth of variation, but still feel annoyed by the mess that tyers add to a world of patterns, which is messed up already.

Viewers and readers can see the original Sunray Shadow here:

and read a story about how wild things can go when patterns catch on, and take on a life of their own here:

I will in all this say that I still highly appreciate the effort by tyers like Steffan who take the time to put together videos for me to share and all you to enjoy.



Yes, of course, Martin, I...

Yes, of course, Martin, I also appreciate Steffan's effort to do the video and to make a deadly fly known.
But as you say, when you do an internet search for a fly if you don't know what the original looks like, you will find all kinds of options. How will you know then what you should do? As books are no longer bought as they were for 25, 30 or 50 years ago, when we found the story behind the flies and how they were tied, I always wonder how the new generations will carry the tradition and pay respect to the pioneers. These are issues that sometimes make me sad. But when I see a young man with the same passion that I had more than 45 years ago and I see his hands tremble with emotion holding an original fly in his hand, I forget the moments of sadness and I am happy. We have many anonymous young people out there on the river, who will not forget to respect those who laid the foundations of modern fly fishing. I met them and they brightened those sad days with clouds and heavy rains. :)


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