It is a curious fact that many flies which “suggest” a food item are invariably better than an exact imitation. Rod Tye’s Original Shrimper is an excellent suggestive wet-fly pattern.

Materials list for the Original Shrimper


Hook: Size 10 Fulling Mill Living Larva
Thread: Orange 6/0  

Rib: Burnt orange Flexi-Floss  

Body: Hare’s mask fur
Body hackle: Medium red game schlappen  

Throat hackle: Brown partridge hackle  

Wing: Bronze mallard  
Cheeks: Jungle cock, dyed orange

Step 1. Original Shrimper.

Step 1. From a point near the hook eye, run the thread down the shank in close turns. Catch in a length of orange Flexi-Floss for the rib, stopping the thread opposite the hook point.

Step 2. Original Shrimper.

Step 2. Apply a generous pinch of hare’s fur and dub it on using a plain twist or a dubbing loop. Wind the fur along the shank to form a rough textured body.

Step 3. Original Shrimper.

Step 3. Select a dyed-brown schlappen hackle and strip away the fibres along one side. Catch the hackle in, just behind the eye, with several tight thread-turns.

Step 4. Original Shrimper.

Step 4. Take hold of the hackle tip and wind it down the body in open turns. With half the fibres stripped away, a straggly, open effect is produced.

Step 5. Original Shrimper.

Step 5. Retain tension on the hackle tip and wind the rib through it to the eye. Apply tension to the floss so that it stretches very thinly. Secure the floss at the hook eye, then trim waste.

Step 6. Original Shrimper.

Step 6. Take a brown partridge hackle and stroke back the fibres, leaving a short bit of the tip. Catch in the hackle at the eye. 

Step 7. Original Shrimper.

Step 7. Cut off excess hackle tip. Wind on just one turn of hackle. 

Step 8. Original Shrimper.

Step 8. Secure the hackle with thread and remove the excess before stroking the fibres back over the body. Fix them in place with further thread-turns.

Step 9. Original Shrimper.

Step 9. Take a 15mm-wide strip of dark bronze mallard. Fold it in half, then in half again to make a slim wing and secure it in position at the eye.

Step 10. Original Shrimper.

Step 10. Trim away the excess wing material then select a jungle cock nail feather. Split it in half, lengthways, then position so each half sits either side of the wing.

Step 11. Original Shrimper.

Step 11. Using scissors, trim away the waste end of the jungle cock feather before building a neat head. Finally, cast off the thread with a whip finish.