Shrimps and Czech Nymphs


Tying Shrimps and Czech Nymphs







My approach to tying shrimps and Czech nymphs is very similar. Take the basic process and make alterations to the ingredients, and you have a huge range of possibilities for your river fly box. In addition to this version, be sure to check out my other Gammarus imitation.



Rhyacophila Larva


I have changed the way I tie the pattern. Originally I used monofilament ribs exclusively and always tied the shell back in first. The dubbed body was usually formed with dubbing noodled around the thread and the choice of materials often synthetic. I also now prefer to tie the rib with my working thread.





I believe that the tutorial shown opposite is not only a faster approach to tying, but creates a neater, slimmer fly. Using natural materials (or naturals blended with synthetics) also works better. The fish will of course always have the final word - but they don't seem to be complaining! Experiment with materials and see which work for you. As for the shell back, I am using either Wapsi Thin Skin (or similar) or raffine. Raffine (raffia, swiss-straw) may tear easily in one direction, but it is very strong in the other. With a coat of varnish or UV cure resin over it too, it is very durable. The range of effects you can achieve with it makes it a useful alterative to the usual shell-back materials.










The materials used for the pattern in the tutorial are:


Hook: Partridge SHR Barbless Shrimp #14

Ballast: Flat lead

Thread: Moser Powersilk 10/0 olive

Shell Back: Wapsi Thin Skin

Legs / body: Rabbit

Hotspot: Hare, dyed orange

Antennae: Partridge

Rib: Tying thread




I have included a hot spot in this example - easy to apply with just a change of dubbing. Gammarus will sometimes act as an intermediate host, carrying a parasite which manifests itself to give the shrimp a orange 'spot' in the body. The parasite makes the shrimp behave unnaturally resulting in them being readily taken by fish - the parasite's next host.


Adding the hotspot is very much optional - but it gives yet another variation which, on its day, can make all the difference




Tied with two layers of lead, the shrimp pattern can still remain slim:



These examples are tied with Hends Spectra-blend for the shell back. This maeterial is quite bright. Hwever a bright, flashy imitation can sometimes be useful.





Th shell back has a very realistic effect. Also notice the offset point of the Partridge Czech Nymph hooks. This is a CZF Fine Wire #12.



A pink nymph is useful in armoury for when targetting grayling:






return home















































































































































Lay a base of flat lead. I prefer to take this towards the bend for shrimps and further towards the eye for Czech Nymphs.


For a heavier imitation, add a second, shorter layer of lead.



Catch in the thread. In angled wraps, so the the thread does not slip between the gaps, wind the thread over the layer of flat lead.


in the shell back so that is protrudes over the eye. Tying in the shell back can also help address the 'jump' from the hook shank to lead.


Spin the thread anti-clockwise to unwind. Split the thread and insert the rabbit fibres. I use a dubbing rake to get the required blend of under-fur and guard hairs. Re-spin the bobbin to form the dubbing rope.



You can see here that I inserted some hare, dyed orange. When winding, this will form the hot-spot.

This can be left out if not required.


Now wind from the eye to the bend of the hook, allowing a spiky, straggly body to form.


Park your thread at the back of the body.


With your fingers, brush the fibres downwards.


Now pull the shell-back over the body and secure with two tight wraps at the base of the body (on the bend)


Now, with tight, open wraps progress up the body with the thread, making the segmentation in the shell-back. Avoid trapping legs / fibres on the top of the body.


Take the thread to behind the eye and add a couple of wraps.


Take a few barbs from a partridge feather and catch them in over the eye - these form the antennae.


Trim the butts and bind down to secure.

Whip finish.


Using sharp, fine scissors, trim away the excess shell-back at the base of the fly.


The shrimp (Gammarus sp.) is finished, complete with hotspot.