Freshwater shrimp, or scuds, are a staple item in a trout’s diet. From the day the ice comes off until the day it goes back on, shrimp are never a bad option to tie on during periods of slow fishing or early/late in the day.
This particular fly is one of the only shrimp patterns I fish. I gained a huge appreciation for it during a day of ice-off stillwater fishing in April of 2011. Fishing was incredibly slow, I had only hooked two fish all day and went into a shallow flat that wasn’t more than 3 feet deep for last light.
I put on a UV Pregnant Shrimp and hung it under a strike indicator set at less than 24″. It did not take fifteen seconds for the indicator to twitch twice on the surface, then submerge itself under the surface of the water. Though numbers aren’t everything, I remember hooking over 20 fish in the last 90 minutes of daylight that evening despite the freezing temps.
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UV Pregnant Shrimp Material List
Hook – Dai-Riki #135 sz. 12
Thread – UTC 70 Chartreuse
Tail – Deer or Elk Hair
Body – UV Light Olive Ice Dub
Egg Sac – Orange Scud Dub
Shellback – 1/8″ Clear Scud Backing
Rib – Small Copper Wire
Attach UTC 70 or thread of your choice
Tie in deer (or elk) tail, I make the fibres quite short at roughly half a shank length
Tie in Small Copper Wire
Cut a triangle shape in your scud backing and tie it in towards the back of the hook shank
Form the first part of your body by either using a dubbing loop or simply twisting the UV Ice Dub around your thread. I chose the latter because I do not believe a dubbing loop is necessary on this fly.
Dub in the egg sac using orange Scud Dub
Finish off the body of your scud with the UV Ice Dub
Fold the scud backing to form a shellback. Do not cut the excess scud backing until you are certain that it is locked into position. You can even add a drop of super glue here if you feel the need.
Wrap wire forward to form segmentation. Your fly will look like a bit of a mess at this point, so grab a dubbing brush and pull out the fibres that get trapped under the wire during the segmenting process
Apply one thin coat of brushable super glue up the shellback and onto the thread head. Trim your “legs” (the dubbing pointing towards the point of the hook) and repeat!
That’s it, that’s all! Shrimp are a great fly for fishing early and late season, my favourite time to fish them is right at ice-off. Some of the biggest stillwater rainbows I’ve landed have come on Gammarus shrimp imitations.
If you are interested in getting on the water this spring, drop me an email using the form below and we will make it happen!