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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By Ron Mc
For a decade when I began salt fly fishing, tried at my vise to imitate the action of a kicking shrimp. Aside from grabbing shrimp in the bait bucket, the idea came from fishing this Stazo rig on a bait rod.
A shrimp kicks with its tail, and slowly glides down, swimming with its legs.
The action of stripping a fly line naturally imitates the shrimp kick, but most fly patterns out there look like photos of static shrimp.
Some of my early attempts caught fish, but when I saw Ally's shrimp salmon fly, its use of pheasant crest for shrimp tail, rooster hackle for shape, and soft hackle for shell, everything clicked.
Instead of the symmetric salmon fly, I keeled my fly with bead chain, and put the two pheasant crest feathers on the same side of the hook.
The result is probably the silliest-looking fly ever, but with incredible kicking shrimp action. It works for generic crustacean thingy, and probably just as well for baitfish - it floats down like a spoon and is as crabby as it is shrimpy - again, I built this fly for action after a decade of trying different ideas for kicking shrimp.
The bead chain also clicks and whistles on the strip.
My kicking shrimp has become my go-to fly in the salt, and has caught everything from sheepshead on the flats to king mackerel in jetty blackwater.
Second cast of the morning to jumping shrimp in the back of Allyn's lake - first cast was a larger spec that tore the hook out on her second run.
it looks even stranger in the vise, but here's the recipe
Size 6 salt hook standard length (Tiemco 811S), shrimpy thread

Tail (shrimp antennae) twice the hook length - a few strands of krystal flash (pink is good) followed by a little bucktail

Eyes are pair of medium stainless bead-chain tied with figure 8 wraps on the outside of the hook

The body of the fly and the shrimp legs is a palmered rooster hackle (I have a barred ginger rooster cape)

Wing, the shrimp's tail, is a pair of stacked pheasant crest feathers

Collar is pheasant rump soft hackle - nothing looks more like shell in the water and it contains beautiful iridescent blue, red and green

Pheasant tail fibers have been used for trout flies forever, and fly shops used to give away the patch of pheasant rump that came along with the long tail feathers. Also, the whole pheasant skin without the long tail feathers, used to be available very cheaply, about $3. But now that people have figured out the large soft hackle has many uses, cost of a pheasant skin with crest is about $14.
http://store.hookhack.com/Ringneck-Cock ... o/188RING/
Last edited by Ron Mc on Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
here's the variation I turned into a kicking nickel-sized crayfish (size 10 2x-long).
Uneven Sili legs for claws, large amber V-rib, dubbing-loop mix of rust and olive, and soft hackle collar
This fly caught 50 fish on Cibolo Creek the day before I stuck it in the vise for this photo.

only had 5 Tiemco 811S size 6 left after I finished a gang of my kicking shrimp fly - finished them up (and ordered some more hooks on ebay).
This is my salt pier-fishing fly, and by far the best whistler variation for piers, docks and lights.
Experience taught me the large bead chain caught the most fish - maybe the large head profile looks like a swimming crab under the lights?
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By Ron Mc
In the barrier island lakes weighted flies only work on the rare bare sand, the perimeter band around the lakes, and passes. Way back when, tried some store-bought weighted flies, and they disappeared in the grass too quickly to be effective, casting to reds preoccupied with their grazing.
My biggest, 32+" red on a fly was on this mylar/epoxy spoon, upwind, after he had already passed me (just a few feet away) with his back out of the water, on the 5th presentation, and a couple of skipped heartbeats. Earlier, saw the big red slashing and waded that way, got drenched in a summer pop shower only a few hundred yards wide, and had just come out of the rain when I got to the big red. Wading distance in the lakes, sliding your feet like you're ice-skating to avoid stingrays, is manly sport.
Funny thing, I told Tim that morning I was going to catch a 32" red.
Both of these have been in the fly box about 30 years.
My epoxy crab caught a few big redfish in The Bottleneck (fishing with Steve's brother, Dennis), pass between Fence and Allyn's lakes, and my biggest black drum ever, on the bare sand perimeter way in the back of Fence Lake. Saw the black drum's moving back a half-mile away and waded there, sight-fishing and releasing a few rat reds along the way (don't remember what fly, but remember tying on the epoxy crab when I got to the perimeter). On different days, both the big black drum and one of the bottlneck reds saw me, each glided away from the presentation, shuddered, ran back, grabbed the fly and took off. This fly looks and walks like a crab. Also told Tim that morning at breakfast I was going after a 15-lb black drum.

Again, the point of my kicking shrimp fly is to imitate the action of a shrimp, which crabs are actually built the same way, and act the same way - crabs have a tail folded in their shell, which they kick, and swim slowly with their legs, as shrimp do. If you want to see the kick, slap your thumb and fingers of one hand together while you're moving your hand.
My kicking shrimp also sinks very much like the epoxy spoon.
It works for both flies above, and casts better than both. You can also tie it on a sinking line and treat it like a streamer.
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