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Sparkle Shrimp
By Philip Rowley

The Sparkle Shrimp is one of my favorite scud patterns. Scud patterns tied entirely out of sparkle chenille have long been favorites with fly fishers from the Kamloops area of British Columbia. Crystal chenille is available in a wide range of colors, favorites include light olive, dark olive, golden olive and light green. I was inspired by Kamloops fly fisherman Herman Fisher's Burnt Scud. Herman's was a simple dressing consisting of a sparkle chenille body with a melted back.

Materials for the Sparkle Shrimp

    Hook: Tiemco 2457 or 3769, #8 - #16.

    Thread: Olive 6/0 or 8/0.

    Rib: Fine copper wire.

    Shell Back: Marabou, raffia or Rainy's Stretch Flex.

    Body: Crystal Chenille.

Instructions for the Sparkle Shrimp:

1. Debarb hook, weight shank if desired then attach tying thread. Attach rib.

2. Expose core of sparkle chenille and tie in place at the rear of the hook. Advance thread forward towards the eye. Tie in shellback material so it extends out over the eye of the hook. Once the shellback material has been secured the tying thread should be hanging at the hook eye.

3. Wind sparkle chenille forward to form the body. Use the thumb and forefinger to sweep chenille fibers back so they do not become trapped.

4. Take rib and place a half turn at the rear of the hook so the rib material is hanging straight down. Pull the shellback material down along the top of the fly. Wind rib forward to eye. Tie off rib with thread then break off excess material by pulling and twisting.

5. Build a neat head, whip-finish, remove thread and apply head cement. Trim shellback material even with bend of the hook by either trimming with scissors at a 30-degree angle. When using marabou tear the shellback to length.

6. The completed Sparkle Shrimp.

Fishing the Sparkle Shrimp

To fish this pattern I use either a dry line coupled with a long 15- to 18-foot leader or an intermediate fly line. The newer clear intermediates also work well. If I am using a floating line I use a weighed pattern. Make a cast and allow the pattern to sink. The pattern must be presented on or near the bottom. I use a slow hand-twist or varied strip retrieve; sometimes a strip retrieve of moderate 3- to 4-inch pulls can also work well. Remember don't strip the fly too quickly and keep the retrieves staggered to simulate the erratic swimming motion of the scud. ~ PR

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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