A Slim Shrimp Sea Trout Fly

Last updated on January 11th, 2024.

Rainer Ballin

Spring is sea trout season – at least along the northern European coastlines of countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Germany. This simple pattern imitates a sea trout’s favorite food: shrimp.

For me fly fishing for sea trout means getting rid of the unnecessary. A #6 or #7 rod and a line – that’s it. I take as few accessories to the water with me as possible – I want to fish simple.

This also applies to my selection of bait. Basically I always fish with the same two or three patterns. Preferably small imitations of sticklebacks (Polar Magnus Variants made of CDC). My first choice however is a shrimp pattern that I tie in three color variations: sand, brown and pink.

You can tie all three variants with a higher or lower degree of UV. In the following step by step tying instruction I show how my shrimp pattern comes to life. The most important requirement to fish my pattern successfully is trust. As a rule, I do not change the fly at all, at most once or twice a day. The pattern at the end of the leader should therefore suit me from the beginning. I use a long shank, a little UV and a slightly transparent body. It’s important that the fly doesn’t tail. And it must fish immediately and always right after the cast.

Tying the seatrout fly step-by-step

Sea Trout Fly Shrimp I
Step 1 of the sea trout fly

Step 1: Put the thread on the shank of the hook and tie in a small bundle of rabbit fur. This is supposed to imitate the mouthparts. On top, a bit of stiff synthetic material. Next a small dubbing ball of UV dub and the two sensors made of Krystall flash.

Sea Trout Fly Shrimp II
Step 2 of the seatrout fly pattern

Step 2: The eyes are attached to the side and a small strip of lead is incorporated. If you want to fish the shrimp upside down (jig) , I tie in the lead in front of the eye instead of the strip. The whole thing is fixed with the thread and a little secondary glue.

Sea Trout Fly Shrimp III
Step 3 of the seatrout fly

Step 3: In the next step, add several layers of craft fur which are tied between the eyes. Afterwards create a loop. Then wrap the thread around with UV dub and shape the body.

Sea Trout Fly Shrimp IV
Step 4 of one of the most successful sea trout shrimp fly patterns

Step 4: Tie more strands of craft fur into the loop. The loop is evenly wrapped backwards around the shank to the eye. Tie and knot.

 Sea Trout Fly Shrimp V
Step 5: sea trout fly

Step 5: The body’s dubbing is brushed off a bit and put back with a comb. Finally the eyes are aligned a bit and the shrimp is ready.

Sea Trout Fly Shrimp VI
Step 6 of the seatrout shrimp fly

Step 6: All materials can be changed or varied, at will. Basically, I prefer to use “too much” material and reduce the pattern if it doesn’t suit me yet.

Sea Trout Fly Shrimp VII
The sea trout fly in the UV version

The shrimp should be fished quickly. If that doesn’t bring the desired success, it can also be stripped in short, crisp intervals. Most importantly the fly has to be in the water constantly.

TWL Rainer Ballin Sea Trout Fly Shrimp Fly Box
Variations of the seatrout fly shrimp patterns

Variations of shrimp flies in a box

Here is what you need to tie the sea trout fly

– Rabbit fur for the mouthparts

– Stiffer, synthetic material prevents splitting of the trunk

– Craft Fur

– Polar Fiber and/or Polar Hair

– shrimp hook e.g. Owner Kappa SW-1, Sz. 6

– Ice Dub UV or Spectradubbing

– Crinkleflash Micro for the antennae

– some winding lead

– twine: 200d

– Dyneema Powerthread,12/0, (W. Fabisch)

– Eyes: handmade by Marco Lemburg. UV active

Check out more of Rainer’s work here:


Check out more of Rainer’s work on The Wading List:

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