Pattern Tying the shrimpzoid reprint

Matt Burke

Active Member
I did this damn thing three years ago and somebody from the site looked at it, but there were no pics. He asked if I had pics. I had to find an old disc the pics were on and reposted them in my Gallery. That was it. Now I am getting requests on how to tie it and stuff. WARNING-This fly has caught a ton of fly fisherman, but no steelhead. It's a crappy fly for swinging and it takes hella long to do. If you tie it different so that the eye is at the center of balance, it works great on a bobber. OK, Styrofoam indicator(you need a couple) at the end of the fly line, then let it hang down like eggs on a hook depending on the depth your fishing. All kinds of crap will hit it, but not set the hook. Always thought I needed to place a stinger front and back to figure out what was pegging it. Catches the hell out of flounder off a sandy beach with the bobber method. That will entertain kids a bit more than fly fishing for cutthroat in the salt. It is just easier to get steelhead to hit a swung leech than a shrimpzoid. I always thought it would be great to use while I drifted past the holes the gear guys fish, but never tried it. Anyway, here is the original text. I'm not sure if the photo numbers are accurate, but you get the idea. There are larger pics for close ups in my gallery.






I start with two EC 413 hooks. Right now I am using 1/0 but will be going smaller for summer run Steelhead and Coho in the Sound this spring. The first one I cut at the halfway point on the straight part of the shank and throw away the eye (photo 1). The second I straighten the bend a bit and cut off the hook and barb and throw away (photo 2 & 3).

I take a flat file and rough up the shank so that the curved tail and stinger have something to hold onto and then file down the cuts so they are round. If you don’t, they will cut your thread as you apply material (photo 4 & 5).

I start off with Kevlar thread and super glue. Tie the curved tail shank in to the straight shank with an X pattern, layering the super glue and thread (photo 6, 7 & 8).

Wrap forward and tie in the point with more layers of thread and super glue (photo 9 & 10).

I cut a piece of rabbit for the stinger. The hide of the straight cut rabbit should be the length of the straight shank. I thread 50 pound gel spun through a needle and run it through the hide in a weave with the loop coming out on the hair side a quarter inch from the end (photo 11, 12 & 13).

I loop a Gamakatsu Octopus hook with the hook point up as it would ride in the water. (1/0 pictured here but you would go smaller for 5 to 10 lb. Fish) (photo 14 & 15).

Run the hook point through the last quarter inch of hide and let it rest hook point up. Pull the gel spun up tight and parallel with the hide (photo 16 & 17).

Now this next step you may elect to avoid, but I ride this fly deep and once I’m on the bottom I change the tip to bring it up just off the rocks. I find that tying the hook into the hide with the point up keeps me from hanging up 95% of the time. If you don’t tie it in, the hook will turn and you have to keep adjusting it in the hide. Using a smaller needle, I thread up some Kevlar thread then up through the hide and through the eye and back down through the hide (not through the eye the second time) on the left side. One more time coming out the eye and back through the hide on the right side. You should end up with both threads coming out the hairless side. Square knot that off and just a dab of super glue will keep it in place (photo 18, 19 & 20).

The eyes are done on 50 lb. Mono. I take a lighter and heat the end so that I get just a big enough ball that the bead wont come off. Mix up some epoxy and then dip the bead end (not the bead) into it. Slide the bead end down to the little ball. The excess glue will hang like a little drop off the ball of mono. Just a quick swipe on a paper towel will get rid of it. I don’t care about excess on the mono. I put duct tape sticky side out on the edge of a table. As each eye is done, I stick the mono to the tape and let hang dry (photo 22, 23 & 24).

I wrap .030 lead 15 times (this is what gets it down and ride the right way. I will be using less and thinner lead for smaller flies for the summer) around the curved tail that hangs down and wrap with Kevlar thread. The little hump I wrap too with just Kevlar thread so that material has something to hang on to, otherwise material will slip off the hump. Then I coat it all with Softex (photo 25).

Using more Kevlar thread, I tie in the rabbit stinger. The gel spun will run along the top and wrap with Kevlar and super glue. Fold back the gel spun and wrap with Kevlar and super glue. Then rewrap the whole section covering gel spun and super glue (photo 26,27 & 28).

Continuing with Kevlar thread and super glue, I tie in the mono eyes on the sides. Beads should come right about where the eye of the stinger is (photo 29). I think most fish are tail biters when they are just aggravated with an intruder. That may be why leech patterns work with a stinger hook so well. When they are really aggressive they will go for the head of the fly. I’m not sure, but they more than likely use the eyes as a focal point. With this fly you will get the advantage of both, the trade mark wiggle of rabbit tail and the eyes in the same area.

Before I tie in a wad of buck tail on the bottom of the shank, I hold the tips and strip out the short hairs. I save these and put into a stacker for later. I wrap the whole thing with Kevlar and glue (photo 30 & 31). Now I know your thinking, man this must own a lot of super glue and Kevlar. Your damn right. As a Spey caster, I am brutal with my flies. I also tack most tie in points with super glue on any fly. Some folks may say, well a good tier doesn’t need glue. I’m sure that is fine when it goes into a shadow box, but I only tie working flies. I’m a rock banging , take missing fool, but my flies will last through it all. I also don’t think I have less takes with the scent of super glue.

From now I use orange 6/0 or 8/0 thread. I take ¼ inch orange scud back and cut a V into the end and tie onto the end over the rabbit. Flip the excess back over the top of the V tip and tie again. This gives a cleaner look to the segments as you work your way up the shank (photo 32, 34 &35).

A couple wraps of large cactus chenille (photo 35).

A couple wraps of hackle flash, then pull the hackle flash into a beard and while holding that in position, wrap it with thread into place (photo 36 & 37).

Tie in orange Lady Amherst for tentacles (photo 38). Now you will notice how the large cactus chenille and hackle flash will hold the Amherst out and away from the body.

The regular chenille I tie a couple times along the top to bulk up the hump of the shell. Once back and then forward to the start of the wrap is good enough. Then wrap the chenille. Each segment is 1/3 of the shank to the start of the bend in the tail (photo 39, 40 & 41).

I give the Cactus chenille a little haircut on to before I flip the Scud back (photo 42).

Flip the shell back over the chenille and tie in. Then flip it forward again and tie in. This flip and tie in thing is done at every segment all the way to the curved tail tip (photo 43 & 44).

The middle segment is a repeat of the first segment (photo 45).

Now the last segment is the same except there is no hackle flash. It gets really tight tying around the bend of the tail. Wrap the chenille to just past the eye (photo 46).

Now to get the latex scud back to go over the eye, I just barely puncture a tiny hole about where the eye would come out when the scud back is stretched around the curve. Then take the eye out of the vise, the tiny hole will stretch far enough to allow the eye to go through the scud back material, then put the eye back into the vise and tie down the scud back (photo 47, 48 & 49).

To help with finishing the curved tail, I wrap the excess scud back around the material on the straight shank to keep it out of the way (photo 50).

Now I strip the fuzz off some orange schlappen and take a black permanent marker and make it a barred schlappen and tie that into the next segment (photo 51 & 52).

The next two segments I wrap chenille and the barred schlappen to the tip. I trim the schlappen fibers where the scud back will go (photo 53).

Now take the buck tail you saved and stacked and tie into the tip of the tail. Take the scud back and make your last shell segment and tie in where the buck tail is tied in. No flip back required, it will lay along the buck tail. Cut the scud back so that it will cover half of the back tail tip (photo 54).

Whip finish and cover with softex as it will just be an extension of the latex scud back . This is the final product (photo 55).


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Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
Hi Matt,

Many thanks for posting all this info. Even if it isn't a practical fly for catching the eye of fish, it certainly catches the eye of fishers.



AKA Joe Willauer
thats awesome matt! you would think if you could sink it fast enough it would wail under a bobber.
Thanks Matt,

I hear you on what this fly is good for catching. As a tier with a real shrimp fetish, I can sure appreciate the artistic factor in this pattern! Thanks for taking the time to repost and share it all over again :)

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