by: Landon Mayer
On many Colorado tailwaters, such as the Fryingpan, Blue, or Taylor, a good Mysis pattern is money.
With so many Mysis shrimp patterns on the market, finding the best one can be problematic. Many lack the movement and color of the natural crustaceans. You need movement from the fly that imitates the natural movement of both live shrimp and dead shrimp. Similar to scuds, shrimp especially those that are alive will extend and move horizontally in the water.
My Mysis is designed on a 200R hook to mimic the natural’s length in its profile, and the white ostrich herl on the thorax imitates the active legs of the real shrimp. I tie the antennae out of clear dady long legs that wiggle while the current moves the fly. These materials are extremely supple to maximize movement of the fly in water both fast and slow. In addition to matching movement, you want a fly that can match the translucent look of a Mysis that is alive and the opaque color of one that is dead. I prefer to match live shrimp, knowing this is the version most commonly seen by trout and it is a whole meal.
Mysis are commonly released below different tail water dams, or swept downstream from the vegetation on the river bottom. In high flow the live shrimp have a chance to drift downstream while remaining alive, possessing a translucent appearance. In low water many of the shrimp trout see are dead and torn apart from their previous high water journey. These shrimp are opaque with crippled bodies. An effective but ugly pattern in this situation is a Candy Cane shrimp size 14-18. Before each adventure to these high protein fisheries, check flow to match the food supply accordingly.
Hook: TMC 200R or 2302 #14-20
Thread: 8/0 White UNI
Abdomen: Pearlescent Hairline flat tinsel (Large)
Thorax: White Ostrich Herl (Large)
Antennae: Hareline Clear Dady Long Legs
Eyes: Permanent Marker black/red
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