This month we will continue with our selection of crustacean patterns and look at a very simple prawn pattern that I developed a few years ago called the McMylar Shrimp. The design was the result of trying to find an easy-to-tie prawn pattern that could be fished in faster flowing water without spinning, as many prawn patterns do.
When fishing, I often found that schools of prawns would flick across the water surface when they were being attacked by species such as trevally, tarpon, tailor, bream and even flathead. When cast up current on an intermediate line and stripped back fairly fast to the boat, the McMylar Shrimp was regularly engulfed just as it came out of the shadows and into a lighted area.
Other prawn patterns have problems with spinning when fished fast or in stronger currents. Although originally designed for fishing around the bridges in the Nerang River on the Gold Coast, it has proven its worth in a variety of situations.
Apart from the broad array of saltwater species that have been caught on this pattern, I have also caught bass, saratoga and silver perch on the freshwater impoundments and feeder creeks. For the freshwater I usually tie it in more natural colours, using olive mylar tube for the body.
The material list for this pattern is fairly basic and if you have been following my patterns over the last few years then you should have most of them already.
I have used the Mustad Pro-Select for the hook, which has a long shank with a thin diameter. It is fairly strong, yet thin with a short, sharp point and small barb to easily penetrate with a minimum of striking pressure. There are not a lot of straight pattern hooks around which have extra long shanks like the Pro-Select. If you locate a heavier patterned hook, this pattern would be ideal for using around the mangrove snags in northern rivers for species such as barramundi, mangrove jacks, grunter, salmon and other species.
The whole focus of this fly is side profile. It can be viewed from the side and looks very realistic, however from the front or back it is very thin, which is why it can be fished in faster flowing water. The mylar tubing is round when purchased but can be pressed flat with your fingers to create this profile.
The head is tied with kinky fibre; a crimped material that gives the illusion of being bulky although in reality it is not. The feelers used are the same as in last months pattern; a streamer hair barred with a waterproof pen. The small amount of lead added to the shank allows the fly to sink tail-first a little quicker, but can be increased or decreased depending on your needs.
You can substitute all these materials with others if you wish, and you can have a lot of fun with this kind of experimentation.
(1) Secure the hook into the vice and attach the thread with a jamb knot (or similar) approximately half way along the hook shank. Take a small amount of Kinky Fibre that is approximately as long as the hook and attach it at this point with a series of wraps.
(2) Cut around five to eight strands of krystal flash that measures approximately one and a half times as long as the hook shank and also attach it at this point approximately half way along the hook shank.
(3) Cut around six to ten strands of the streamer hair and use a waterproof black pen to bar it. Tie it in at the same point. Whip finish off the thread at this point but do not cut away the remaining thread.
(4) Cut a piece of lead wire around 2cm long and wrap it around the shank as shown. Over wrap it several times with your thread to secure it in place. And add a little flexcement. Whip finish again and cut away the remaining thread.
(5) Cut a section of mylar tube that is just a little longer than the hook. Cut one end on an angle as shown. Place it over the hook shank (hook shank down the centre of the tubing) and adjust length if necessary. Tie the thread back in over the tubing, doing a series of wraps to secure the tubing to the hook shank as you tie the thread back in. Whip finish off again and cut away the remaining thread.
(6) Attach a self-adhesive eye to each side and then use your fingers to flatten the mylar tubing as shown. You may need to flatten it several times until you get a crease in the tubing at the top and the bottom. Cover the entire mylar tubing section with the soft dip which will create a durable fly and prevents the tubing continually fraying at the head. Once dry, your McMylar Shrimp is ready to fool a broad array of crustacean crunching critters.
HOOK: Mustad Pro-Select 3261NPBLN 1/0
HEAD: Kinky Fibre White
FLASH: Krystal Flash – pearl
FEELERS: Streamer Hair – opaque white barred with waterproof pen
BODY: Mylar Tubing- large pearl
WEIGHT: Lead wire 0.025mm x 2cm
EYE: Self Adhesive 2mm Glow-in-dark
FINISH: Tiewell Soft Dip