Well, it may be more than 10 years since I tied my last trout and pike flies… so it shouldn’t be that hard to get back on track. Says me while still fearing that „Flexo Crab” saltwater fly pattern, which seems quite scary to complete. Almost as every time, I’m sure there must be a method to any madness, saltwater flies included. The shrimps have eyes. So, let’s start making them.
Trout flies are quite intricate because they’re tied on much smaller hooks and they require a great deal of practice and skills to make some decent offerings for the highly selective salmonids. Consequently, SW flies can’t be that dreadful to tie. Still, I’ve heard some horror stories about trigger fish that make them some of the most challenging SW species to catch on a fly, because they can be so finicky. Can’t wait to see!
So, while waiting for the Gamakatsu SW fly hooks to come from the U.S. and the GT brushes to arrive from Taimen from Poland, I got my first fly tying materials delivery from a local fly shop – Troutline. When I last tied my last big pike flies the A+B epoxy was the messy norm to finish the flies heads. Now, it’s been replaced by the more convenient UV resin – use the amounts you need on the fly’s head or body then apply UV light and the resin cures to solid in matter of seconds.
In the package there was a bottle of UV resin thick from Hends and a UV torch with 9 UV LEDs and a working range of 380-425nm. So, tonight I put them to work since the Red Sea fly fishing trip is upon me and I have to tie at least 12 different fly patterns ranging from spawning shrimps on #6 hooks to #6/0 Mega Clousers, Sempers and GT Brush Flies.
Since the hooks are on their way, I decided to start making the parts for various flies, and I started with the eyes for shrimps and crabs. I found a nice recipe on YouTube that I recommend to anyone making that type of flies, I followed the instructions and in one hour or so I’ve got myself around two dozens of bubbly shrimp eyes.
You just need some heavy monofilament (I used Sunline 35 lbs. Queen Star with a diameter of 0.47 mm), a lighter, the UV resin plus the UV torch. Cut short strands of mono, burn one end with the lighter to create a small bump, dip that bump into a small patch of UV resin on a paper, rotate it to evenly distribute and cure it in seconds with the UV torch. Finally, paint the eyes with some nail polish in the desired color (I don’t have that yet, I’ll be also trying some permanent marker, but as in the video, the painted eyes look better).
Update: „Wadda you know? You’ve got your mother’s eyes, too!” said Papa Shrimp to his 347 newborn son. So, the shrimps will have painted eyes, too 🙂 Check it out!
Thank you my EOS M10 mirrorless camera for the crazy pics even without specialized macro lens! Will return with more pictures and movies once the real fly tying begins.
So far, the shrimps have eyes. That’s a start.