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flytyer 08-14-2003 08:53 PM

Night Dancer Shrimp
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Here is a Night Dancer steelhead fly that I adapted to the Irish Shrimp style last year. It is a very effective summer and fall fly either in morning or late evening. This one is tied on an Alec Jackson Spey Hook, #5.

This is the pattern:

Tag: oval silver
Tail: wound large webby red hackle
R. Body: black floss ribbed with oval silver
Veiling: purple Krystal Flash top and bottom
Hackle: black, large and soft wound as butt between body halfs
F. Body: black floss ribbed with oval silver
Veiling: purple Krystal Flash top and bottom
F. Hackle: purple, large and soft.

BobK 08-15-2003 06:57 AM

Nice fly! Nice tie, too!
I'm going to have to tie some of these up! I think the fish will LOVE the colors - should be a good 'un!


flytyer 08-15-2003 03:56 PM


It is an excellent fly for steelhead! The largest size I use it in is the #5 Aleck Jackson Spey Hook, and the smallest size I use (for when the water is really low in late summer and early fall) is a #12 standard or light wire salmon iron.

sean 08-15-2003 04:02 PM

Excellent pattern!

What are you using for the hackle? Looks much better than anything I use.


flytyer 08-15-2003 04:08 PM


The hackle (that goes for all 3 colors) is nothing more than Chinese Rooster Hackle for Hareline Dubbing. The Whiting American Hackle that became available last year has more feathers/cape that are of the same quality and size.

The secret to making hackle look like this is to tie it in by the tip and wind at least 5 turns at each hackle location. The fly pictured has 7 wraps of hackle at each location. By tying it in by the tip, it is easy to double the hackle as you wind it; thus, the hackle flows backward over the fly.

sean 08-15-2003 04:20 PM

Thanks for the tip. Bought of bunch of the whiting silver grade capes over the winter and will give them a try tonight. We will see how they work this weekend.


Dave Drennan 09-05-2003 07:27 AM

I tied up ....
... a Juner Shrimp on an Alec Jackson #1.5 hook and fished it in the Dean in June. Seventh cast - big chinookie - don't know how big 'cause the Albright knot from backing to WindCutter came undone - lost the fish, the line and the fly! In the words of that famous American philosipher, H. Simpson, "D'oh!"

flytyer 09-05-2003 09:42 PM


Glad to hear there are others here in North America that are using Irish Shrimp Style flies. They have that same three-dimensional look that spey, dee, and spiders have in the water. Or as Alec Jackson would say, "They have the illusion of bulk".

Dave Drennan 09-05-2003 10:38 PM

... I would like to know more about the spider patterns. I have a friend in Dublin, that I'm way late with some flies, who knows about the Spiders. I have O'Reilly's and Malone's books but did not notice much about the Spiders. Maybe you can shed some light? Do you have "Shrimp and Spey Flies for Salmon? Are you a left handed tier?

flytyer 09-05-2003 11:26 PM

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Yes, that is one of many books I have in my library. It is also one of the best of the recent books on flies for salmon and steelhead in my opinion.

No, I am not a left-handed tyer. I simply scanned the Night Dancer Shrimp's left side because a well-tied fly will look the same from either side and wanted to show this aspect of tying to others.

Spiders are a style of tying that usually leave out wings, tails, and body hackle. They are almost always tied as low-water flies and the distinctive features of a Spider is the long hackle tied as a collar (it should be as long as the bend of the hook, or very close to that long). Aleck Jackson's "Psuedo-Spey" is actually a spider style fly (Alec knows this' but he chose to call it a pseudo-spey because more fisherman know what a spey fly is than what a salmon or steelhead spider is), and as such would give you a good idea of what they look like.

I use spider style flies during the very low water of late August to October here in Washington state. Here is an example of one of my favorites.

I call it a Green-Butt Black Spider. The dressing is:

thread: black 8/0
tag: fl. lime green pearlescent braided mylar
body: black floss because it sinks better than with dubbing
hackle: black Chinese rooster neck

Dave Drennan 09-06-2003 05:36 PM

... Thanks a bunch - I'll work on the Spiders. Seem to remember seeing Spiders in Judith Dunham's calendar back in the mid-90's.

flytyer 09-06-2003 09:40 PM


Trey Combs "Steelhead Fly Fishing" has several spiders in it as well as some historical info on the use of them for steelhead.

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