Sand Flats Shrimp

Sand Flats Shrimp

  • By: A. K. Best

I received my 2010 Umpqua Feather Merchants flies and materials catalog a few days ago and went right to the listing of flies to see what’s new. In scanning the “Saltwater” section, I counted nearly 100 bonefish flies. Not many of them resembled the little shrimp I saw when I snorkeled the Bahama’s flats some years ago. Nearly all of these flies contained enough material from which to make two or three patterns and there was way too much flash in both the body and “wing.” In fact, some of the old favorite, sparsely tied flies were missing from the collection.

So I thought I would create a bonefish fly that in my humble opinion appears more like the little shrimp I saw while snorkeling. All those little shrimp were exactly the same color as the light-colored coral sand on which they lived.

Imagine that! Nature designs the prey to be unseen and at the same time equips the predator to detect the prey. In this instance, the predators—bonefish—will be attracted to the movement of the fly.


Hook: Mustad 34007 sizes 4, 6, 8
Thread: Danville #41 Light Tan Monocord
Eyes: Small silver bead-chain
Antennae: Dozen guard-hair fibers of golden yellow Arctic fox
Legs: Small tuft of golden yellow Arctic fox underfur
Body: Clear V-Rib
Underwing: Small tuft of golden yellow Arctic Fox underfur
Overwing: Pair of light barred ginger rooster hackle tips

?Put the hook in the vise as shown, attach thread behind the hook eye, wind to the end of the shank and attach bead-chain eyes with firm wraps of thread. Tie on antennae behind the eyes curved slightly into a bend and lash downthe butts. The length should be equal to the length of the entire hook. Tie on a small clump of underfur behind the eyes.

?Tie on V-Rib one hook-eye space behind the bead-chain, lash it down to just in front of the eyes and carefully wind forward saving room for the head and wing tie down.

? Tie in a small clump of underfur for the underwing. When tied at the right length, it should barely reach past hook bend, as seen here.

? Tie a barred hackle tip on each side of the head. The length should be a hook-gap-width beyond the hook bend.

? Tie-off the thread, lacquer the head and sit admire your Sand Flats Shrimp.