Polar Shrimp |
By Jason Akl
Why is this pattern so effective? Many guides believe that this pattern’s success is derived from it great attractor qualities (bright contrasting colors). But on the other hand some people believe the Polar Shrimp’s success is due simply from its ability to imitate some of the most common food sources of large predators fish (shrimp, spawn). As an attractor pattern the Polar Shrimp has lots to offer hungry fish. The sharp color contrast of the bright orange chenille body against the white bucktail will definitely get attention from fish, but it is the undulating hackle and tailing fibers that will draw in the bite. As an imitator pattern the Polar Shrimp uses the bright orange chenille to simulate a fresh egg cluster that has been accidentally washed free from the spawning bed. At the same time the Polar Shrimp is also very effective in imitating the actual polar shrimp species that range from the Arctic all the way to Cape Cod.
The original Polar Shrimp pattern was created by E. H “Polly” Rosborough back in the 1960’s for use on the Oregon Coast, but since then this pattern has become a late fall and winter steelhead favorite.
This type of streamer pattern can be fished effectively in many different ways for all sorts of water types. One of the best techniques for fishing this pattern would be to let the fly sink deep down in the water and run it slowly across the current simulating a fleeing shrimp or rolling egg cluster. Even though the big steelhead that you are targeting with these flies have left the open feeding grounds of the ocean for the rivers they still considers shrimp to be a very robust food source and will have a hard time passing them up if you swing them near there noses, just remember to hold on tight.