Conrad Botes, one of the pioneers of fly fishing for blacktail (among other species) on fly in the Western Cape of South Africa, has shared how to tie his deadly prawn/shrimp pattern, the Steve Austin. This simple prawn imitation fly features a bulky pink body of built-up thread, a white tail and tan/root beer over-wing with a hint of flash.
Like a neon-disco love child between a Clouser and a Charlie, the Steve Austin provides plenty of triggers for Southern Africa’s in-shore species and is a deadly search pattern. Conrad fishes this pattern on intertidal flats with the incoming tide, just when all the critters that it imitates are active, although he’s not necessarily matching the hatch.
These are the materials used to tie the prawn imitation fly, the Steve Austin:
Thread: Danville 130D, PINK
Weight: Tungsten dumbell bead
Tail: Hairline white calf tail
Over-wing: Hairline root beer calf tail
Flash: UV Crystal flash
For more on Conrad check out his blacktail feature “It’s only rock and surf… (but I like it)” in issue 7.