Louisiana redfish, speckled trout and flounder often stake out territory along oyster beds. Oyster beds are remarkably destructive to any lure or fly that’s dragged across them, and flies must be durable and ride hook-point-up on the retrieve.
While hackled flies are commonly shredded by oysters, man-made materials can provide more durability. The Indestructible Shrimp was designed specifically for this purpose, and it’s best used when retrieved slowly along the bottom, especially over Louisiana’s many oyster beds.
With large bead-chain eyes, this pattern rides hook-point-up and may be tied on either circle hooks or J hooks. The body is constructed with Pony Bead lacing, which is available at craft chain Hobby Lobby and is offered in a limited selection of colors, including a glow in the dark version that’s particularly effective for fishing at night under the lights of docks.
If a clear lacing is selected – such as the pattern pictured here – the color of the thread used to tie the fly will show through on the completed Shrimp. Consequently, color variations are virtually unlimited with this pattern: white, black, chartreuse, pink or olive threads can be used to customize the Shrimp’s colors.
Regarding rattles, whether or not they actually do any good, Louisiana fishermen swear by them! Standard worm rattles ranging from 3 mm to 4 mm are preferred on the Indestructible Shrimp. They make the pattern a bit more difficult to weave over but offer an extra touch that’s completely optional.
HOOK: Mustad 34011, No. 1 to No. 6, or Mustad C71S, No. 2 to 1/0
THREAD: Danville flat, waxed nylon
EYES: Large bead-chain
ROSTRUM & TAIL: Super Hair
ANTENNAE: Round rubber leg, medium
RATTLE: Worm rattle, 3 mm to 4 mm
LEGS: Silicone skirting material
BODY: Elastic, round Pony Bead lacing
|Step 1: Wrap a base layer of thread from the middle of the hook shank to a third of the way down the bend. Tie in bead-chain eyes with figure-eight wraps where the thread stops, and apply a drop of Super Glue.|
|Step 2: Tie in a small bundle of Super Hair across the middle of the eyes, securing excess material one-quarter inch along the shank. Create an antennae by folding a 4- to 6-inch black rubber leg in half, looping it around the shank and pulling it through the center of the eyes, securing with figure-eight wraps. Next, form legs with three silicone strands from a spinnerbait skirt. Fold the strands twice and loop the bundle around the hook shank, then pull through the center of the eyes and secure with figure-eight wraps. Finally, cut the loops open, creating the legs.|
| | Step 3: Apply a coat of Super Glue along the top of the hook shank and affix a worm rattle, with the pointed end toward the hook eye. Thoroughly wrap with several layers of thread. |
| | Step 4: Tie in two long pieces of Pony Bead lacing along the hook shank. The tails should hang over the hook bend, while the tips should be positioned just beyond and below the pointed end of the rattle. Wrap thread over the lacing and hook shank, making a tapered slope from the rattle to the shank.|
| | Step 5: Create a tail near the hook eye by tying in a bundle of Super Hair. Overlap the point where the plastic lacing was tied in, and wrap thread to form a smooth, tapered transition from the rattle, trimming excess material on the rattle side. The material extending over the hook eye may point either up or down. A down position in the vise will encourage the fly to move slightly upward on retrieve, while an up position (pictured here) will do the opposite.|
| | Step 6: Starting behind the eyes, tightly weave plastic lacing, continuing over the rattle to within one-eighth inch of the hook eye. Make several thread wraps over the lacing, then cut off ends close to the hook eye. Wrap thread under the tail, creating a hump that forces the Super Hair to angle away from the shank. Whip-finish and trim Super Hair into a fan-shaped tail. Apply Super Glue by the eyes, around the thread wrap at the tail, and in any gaps along the weave. |