Shea Gunkel’s Radiation Baetis

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Photo by Bob Reece

Photo by Bob Reece

By Bob Reece

The creation of some fly patterns results purely from the need to fill a niche.

Others however, result from a blending of emotions and experience. This latter path of development leads signature Umpqua tyer Shea Gunkel to the creation of his Radiation Baetis.

Moms are in integral part in many of our lives.  A couple years ago, Shea received news that his mom had been diagnosed with cancer. His heartfelt emotion drove him to create a new pattern, the original highlighted with pink, in an effort to raise awareness for cancer and show support for his mom.

The earlier versions of this bug were often pinned in hats and sweaters, where they made frequent trips to chemotherapy treatments. As time passed, Shea began to see the pattern in an additional light.  After fishing it heavily and sharing samples with guides around Colorado, on the water success stories began to flow in. Shea then submitted the pattern to Umpqua Feather Merchants, who picked it up and currently produce the highly effective fly.

Radiation is an effective and often powerful means of energy transfer. Shea Gunkel’s transfer of emotion to creation has resulted in a highly effective baetis imitation. Regardless of whether you tie or buy, this pattern should fill several slots in your nymphing box.

Watch this video and learn to tie Shea Gunkel’s Radiation Baetis.

To place your custom orders of these bugs tied by Shea, click on the Instagram link below:

To explore more tying videos like the one above click here:

To learn directly from signature Umpqua Fly Designer, guide and author Bob Reece, click here:

Bob Reece
Gink & Gasoline
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