It was December 2011, and I was about to have my mind blown by the aquarium that was Farquhar. The sheer abundance of Bonefish was something I could never be prepared for. I’d only caught tiny bones in deep water before, and flats fishing for them was something I’d dreamed about for well over a decade at that point.
Although it seemed like these bones would eat anything that even resembled a crustacean presented at their depth (we even played the “can you strip through the shoal without a take” game), there was one particular fly that couldn’t even touch the sand without being eaten. And I didnt have any. Jean and Francois Malherbe did. It was a Petersons Spawning Shrimp. I’d brought along some flies of similar design, but the original was the recipe that worked best. I returned home knowing that I’d never set foot in a bonefish fishery without them again.
In those days there were a few decent SBS’s around on various forums, which all seem to have vanished. Here it is again:
Tie in arctic fox or bunny tail (orange)
I first flatten the mono on the end of the eyes to keep down the side of the thread bump
I use two kinds of crystal flash, which is not necessary but I like the less elastic kind (on left) for the two strands out back
Tie in two strands of crystal flash
Colour it black (of course if you can find black crystal flash just use that – I couldnt)
Tie some zonker fur next
Tan silicon legs. I usually leave them together when tying in and separate after.
Tie in two or three strands of crystal flash used to wrap the body (I will coat the thread portion accepting the flash with gel super glue)
You can coat this section with UV if you like, im concerned with its scent so I usually dont.
Dumbells. I used light brass ones here – these are for skinny water Christmas Island fish.
I divert slightly here. I believe the original pattern did not use a strip, and used clumps instead. I prefer a strip, while separating the clumps with thread wraps (see below). I do cut away excess skin to lower the thread profile.
Tie in the zonker (I will cut the tag end before wrapping)
Separate the zonker before doing the thread wrap to separate
Wrap with thread. Some spit always helps on the zonker (giggles)
Trim the strip so that it isnt longer than the flash body. I finished with some peach/pink thread. Usually I’d tie the entire fly with it but was running low.
Separate silicon legs
Petersons Spawning Shrimp
Shot on Fuji XT-2 with kit lens (not the best choice of lens)
Vice: J-Vice with Hattori Hanzo Steel jaw