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.
Start this fly by attaching the hook into the vise securely and wrapping the thread onto the hook shank just behind the hook eye.
Strip several long fibers from an orange saddle hackle and align the tips with your hair stacker. Take the now stacked section of hackle fibers and wrap them down onto the hook shank with threads so that they extend off the back of the hook shank approximately the length of the hook gape. The thread should be wrapped to the point above the barb on the hook shank.
Strip off the last inch or so of the chenille with your fingers so that all that is left is the inner core. Tie this core down to the hook shank and wrap it back with thread again to the point above the barb. Advance the thread to the front of the fly and now wrap the chenille forward creating a nice thick bushy body. Stop the chenille at about 1/4 of an inch from the back of the hook eye and tie the chenille off tight with several wraps of thread.
. Select a nice even orange hackle from the skin and tie it down onto the hook shank by its tip. Clip the tag end of the hackle and wrap it forward for three to four wraps. While wrapping the hackle be sure to watch so that any of the hackle fibers do not get wrapped down by each proceeding hackle wrap you make.
Clip the excess of the hackle and wrap back on the collar you just created a little bit with the thread to give it a swept appearance. With your hackle pliers strip a few fibers away from the hackle collar directly on top of the hook shank. You are trying to create a seam for the bucktail wing to lie in. Clip and clean a small section of white bucktail and align the tips with your hair stacker. Tie this wing down to the hook shank in the seam you picked out in the collar. Be careful not to use too much pressure when tying down the bucktail, because you do not want the hair to flair wildly.
Trim the tag ends of the bucktail and create a small neat head for the fly. Whip finish the thread and cement the head thoroughly.