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Popping Shrimp Fly Step-by-Step:
““Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.”
– Jim Jarmuch
Tie flies long enough, and the truth in the above quote becomes evident. Beyond the advent of new materials, there’s little that truly qualifies as original in fly tying. We look at what has been done before and use it as inspiration for our own inventions. The result is a hobby full of variations built upon common themes.
Such is the case with this week’s tutorial, the Popping Shrimp. A Gartside Gurgler at its core, the tweaks to this pattern are primarily cosmetic. Turning the generic, surface disrupting original into a more nuanced imitation of a fleeing shrimp.
Tied here on a Size 1 hook, this pattern is a must for anglers targeting redfish, speckled trout, snook and juvenile tarpon.
|Gamakatsu SS15 (#1)||140 Denier (Tan)||Craft Fur (Tan)|
|Krystal Flash (Black or Gold)||Barred Rubber Legs (Sand)||Mono Crab Eyes (Black)|
|Monofilament Tippet (0x)||Thin Foam (2mm; Tan)||Ice Dub or similar|
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Popping Shrimp Fly Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:
(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge or rotate phone to landscape)
Tips and Tricks
- Substitutions Abound – When it comes to substitutions, pattern variants such as the popping shrimp provide endless possibilities. Just do a quick google search, and you’ll see the options are endless as it seems every angler has their own recipe for this fly. Synthetic fibers or Bucktail can fill the role of Craft Fur, and various dubbing brushes or even woolly bugger hackle can take the place of the dubbing loop above. Experiment with what you have on hand and decide what works best for you.
- Sound Effects – If you’re looking to up your fish attracting odds, consider adding an internal rattle to this pattern. I’ve tied these along the underside of the hook shank (beneath the dubbed body) in the past, but Drew Chicone ties his off the bend of the hook (hidden with the tail material) on his Disco Shrimp. While both methods work, Drew’s may have the upper hand as you risk filling the hook gap on smaller hooks with my method.
Proof of Concept
The Popping Shrimp has become a regular on my line while targeting reds at first light here in southern Louisiana. The fish featured to the right came in just such a situation as I was blind casting cuts as the sun rose on a clear, calm morning early this July. To my surprise, the strike was not the aggressive, haphazard explosion of the average redfish. Instead, the strike came as a gentle slurp during a pause between strips of my line.
Species Caught on the Popping Shrimp Fly to Date:
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