Spring is the time for weakfish and one of their favorite foods -- shrimp.
This foam-backed pattern neither floats nor sinks rapidly, but hangs in
the water column. It can be fished with a slow retrieve, or on a dead
drift in the current. It's particularly effective when you hear weakfish
are slurping food near the surface. The pattern can be tied in a variety
of colors and sizes.
Hook: Mustad 34007, Tiemco 911, or similar style
Thread: Size A white
Body: Sparkle Dubbing and matching Grizzly Hackle
Shell: White Craft Foam and either flat pearl Mylar
or wrinkled pearl Mylar sold as "Twist."
Eyes: Heavy monofilament
Short length of light monofilament for ribbing
Fine-tip black marking pen
Broad tip marking pen (color optional)
Black vinyl jig paint
1: Before you start tying, prepare the foam shell and the
Cut a piece of craft foam into an elongated fish shape with
a short, square, tail. I prefer to use adhesive backed foam, but you can
also use regular foam and an epoxy glue. Stick the Mylar to the foam and
trim it to shape. When it's unrolled and flattened enough to create a
good bond with the foam, the wrinkled Mylar ("Twist") gives the pattern
more of a life-like appearance.
If you've already decided on the dubbing color, go ahead
and color the Mylar with a matching ink pen. For production tying, create
several foam "shells" and color them when they're ready to be tied in.
Create small ball-shaped eyes on a length of stiff monofilament
by grazing the tips with a butane or alcohol flame. The mono will melt
rapidly, leaving a ball-shaped bulge on the tip. Dip the tips in black
vinyl jig paint and set aside to dry.
2: Wrap the entire hook shank, ending at the bend.
3: Tie in the Krystal Flash antennae and feelers -- two
long lengths and four short -- at the bend. Color is optional, but keep
4: Tie-in the two monofilament "eyes" on each side of the
5: Bring the thread back to the bend, and tie-in a clump
of the fluff from the base of the selected Grizzly Hackle on the top of
the shank and extending slightly beyond the bend.
6: Tie-in the whole Grizzly Hackle feather at the base,
and a length of light monofilament, both protruding forward of the bend.
7: Bring the thread back a few turns and spin on the dubbing
as you wrap back to the hook eye. I like to mix two colors of dubbing
material, but you can use a single color, too. The trick with dubbing
is not to put on too much at once and to spin the thread in the opposite
direction after every dubbing application. Alternatively, you may use
a sparkle yarn.
8: Palmer the Grizzly Hackle feather to the eye and tie
9: Trim the feather and fluff on the top of the shank to
create a platform for the foam shell. When you color the shell, make sure
to color the sides, as well the underside.
10: Lay a thick bead of a super glue on top of the shank
and glue down the foam shell so that the end of the tail meets the end
of the hook eye.
11: Take several tight wraps at the base of the tail, and
bend the foam up at an oblique angle to the hook eye. Wrap the length
of light monofilament back in wide turns to bend the foam around the sides
of the pattern and to complete the shell look.
12: Mark lines in the tail and stipple the shell with the
fine-tip black pen. Give the top of the sheel a light coat of epoxy, and
rotate until set.
Glen Mikkleson's shrimp patterns and others are available
in local fly shops, or directly from Glen. Send a self-addressed stamped
envelope to Atlantic Flies, P.O. Box 368, Manorville, NY 11949, for Glen's
2001 price list of inshore, offshore, and acrylic patterns.
Glen is also a NYS Licensed Guide, and is available for shore trips on
Long Island's North Fork, Montauk, on the South Shore from Jones Beach
east, and on the North Shore from Sunken Meadow Beach east, as well as
casting instruction. Call 631-878-0883 for more information.