Originator: Dave Stanley.
Photos and Instruction by Mike Brown. Mike Brown is the owner of Mossy’s Fly Shop in Anchorage, AK. A lifelong Alaskan with a passion for family, fly fishing and fly tying.
There is always going to be a huge debate amongst Sockeye fishermen whether Sockeye (Red) Salmon will eat a fly or not. This debate will never be won, all you can do is go with what works for you and do what you believe in.
When I bought the shop from Mr. McAfee, we were walking through the shop looking at stocks and talking about things, I asked where are your Sockeye flies? (I didn’t see the long-standing Russian River Coho Flies). Dennis promptly walked me to the bin and held up this tiny little shrimp fly and said this all you need. Now, me being a born Alaskan and having been raised on the all-mighty Coho fly and the thought process that you have to floss these fish, I immediately had my doubts but was not going to dare insult this man on his knowledge and experience in the shop. Dennis then told me I don’t expect to ever see a Coho fly in this shop, he made an impression on me that day and really made me start thinking, what do I not know.
As summer rolled in and Sockeye folks started coming by, I had this large percentage of McAfee’s customers coming in and asking if we were still carrying the Mini Krystal Shrimp that Dennis always had, when I answered yes, they were so happy that the fly was still here. As people were buying this fly in hand fulls, it made me really start to think what is it with this fly? So, one weekend I took a few of them fishing, I wanted to see if this thing really works. As we got into one of our favorite sockeye holes, I began rigging this little fly on in place of the typical meat hook. Within three casts, my line began screaming away, and low and behold this beautiful Sockeye blew up out of the water and gave me a battle I will never forget. Once we got the fish to the net, sure enough, the hook was stuck in the middle of his tongue a pure sign that he took that fly. From that day forward I was sold on this fly and that it worked. This made me do some research on Sockeye feeding habits in the salt. While I call these fish the vegetarians of the salmon world, as they eat plankton in the salt, I found that little Krill live in the plankton and they are feeding on these guys at the same time, this makes me think that they strike this fly as a reaction to what they feed on in the salt. Typically, you catch chrome fish more than ones that have been in the fresh long enough to start changing color.
Since this a fly tying article I am not going into the trials and tribulations of what I have learned about how to fish them, you can contact us at the shop anytime and we can discuss that.
This fly will last you longer if you glue the threads with zap-a-gap or super glue. This fly can be tied in chartreuse, orange, pink and pearl in a size 6 or size 4.
- Body Material 1: Pearl Krystal Flash
- Body Material 2: V-Rib Chartreuse
- Eyes: Small Black Bead Chain Eyes
- Wing: STS Trilobal Dubbing Chartreuse
- Hook: Daiichi 2546 Sz 6 or Sz 4
- Thread: Veevus 140 Chartreuse
Step 1. Start your thread about one hook eye back and wrap back to the point of the hook.
Step 2. Place the bead chain eyes in line with the point of the hook. Using figure eight wraps, tie them in place.
Step 3. Wrapping your thread back, line up the thread with point of the barb. Tie in appx. 12-15 strands of the krystal flash. Make the tail about the length of the hook shank.
Step 4. Tie in your V-Rib
Step 5. Run your thread back to the front to where you started it. Wrap the krystal flash forward, going over and under the eyes and then to the front.
Step 6. Now wrap the v-rib forward, going over and under the eyes continuing to the front.
Step 7. Take appx a pencil width of the trilobal dubbing, work the dubbing threw your fingers a few times to even up the tips. Place the dubbing on the bottom side of the shank, giving yourself a upside-down wing tapered back towards the point of the hook.
Step 8. Trim off the dubbing at the hook eye end flush, then build a small head and whip finish. Cut the wing in a slight taper.
Step 9. The harvest…caught on the swing with a Mini Krystal Shrimp.
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