Saturday, January 15, 2000

Crystal Shrimp

Originator: Tom Springer

Applications: anything that swims


Along with the Clouser Minnow and Woolybugger, the Crystal Shrimp ranks as one of the most versatile submergent flies in existence. This pattern has caught everything from Oscars and Peacock Bass to reds and redears, and all varieties of bass and coldwater trout. Even baby tarpon, carp and mullet have been known to eat it! It's a killer under lights. If seatrout or snook could talk, oh my, the stories they could tell!

Though there are several flies that bear the name "crystal shrimp", this variation by Tom Springer of Pensacola is not only very simple to tie, but has proven to be the most effective of the shrimp patterns. It's even credited with a 28 pound redfish that once claimed third spot on the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Fly Rod Records List.


Hook: size 2-6, Mustad 34006 or similar
Thread: flat wax nylon in white or pearl
Body: small or medium diameter pearl crystal chenille or pearl crystal flash chenille
Antennae: krystal flash fibers
Shellback: krystal flash fibers
Eyes: quarter inch section of 50-pound monofilament, burnt at each end, then crimped in center


1) Tie in the thread base.
2) Tie in the mono eyes towards the back of the hook. Use a dab of super glue to secure in place.
3) Tie in several strands of krystal flash about 3" long at the rear of the hook, with about 1/2 to 1 inch of strands going past the bend of the hook.
4) Double back the remainder of the krystal flash towards the rear of the hook and tie it down so that it points away from the hook eye.
5) Tie in the crystal chenille over where the krystal flash is tied in, then bring the thread back to the hook eye.
6) Make one wrap of the chenille in front of the mono eyes, then proceed to wrap the chenille behind the eyes toward the hook eye. That first wrap helps to seperate the eyes outward. For a good body, always make the wraps tight against each other.
7) Tie off the chenille at the hook eye.
8) Take the long strands of krystal flash that we doubled back, and now extend them over the top of the chenille, and tie in at the hook eye. Some of the flash will extend over the hook eye. Trim so that the fibers extend about 1/8 inch past the hook eye. This will create the shrimp tail.
9) Whip finish and apply cement.