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Steelhead Patterns: Mysis Shrimp - For Great Lakes Steelhead - Pattern

Fly Tying Patterns Herb writes "

Megan's Mighty Mysis by Herb Seymour

Mysis Shrimp Fly  Pattern

Mysis relicta, commonly called Opossum shrimp, are a key food source in the Great Lakes for forage fish like sculpin, rainbow smelt, and alewife. They also contribute significantly to a steelhead's diet. Guesstimates are running as high as 70 percent of their food intake. But what's more important is that steelhead seem to relish the tasty delight when they make their run into the rivers

Mysis Shrimp - Fly Pattern tied by Herb Seymour

The Recipe:

HOOK: Dai-Riki Scud/Pupa hook, #135, size 6, 1X strong, 1X short
THREAD: White Danville or UNI-Thread, 8/0
EYES: Black mono eyes, extra small
TAIL: Two strands of pearl Krystal Flash, wrapped in cream hackle barbs. Flash should extend slightly beyond the barbs
ABDOMEN: Ice White Caddis/Emerger dubbing, lightly dubbed and picked out
RIBBING: Danville fine monofilament, counter-wrapped to create a segmented body
THORAX: Ice White Caddis/Emerger dubbing, heavily dubbed and picked out
SWIMMING LEGS: Cream hackle, three or four turns, palmered forward over thorax
FRONT APPENDAGES: Cream hackle barbs laid between mono eyes, layered over hook eye
SHELLBACK: Clear thin skin, over abdomen and thorax. Lightly dab orange art marker beneath carapace; apply to thin skin or thorax dubbing

Size and Growth

Like all arthropods, Mysis shrimp feature a segmented, shell-like exoskeleton that is shed several times to allow growth. During their lifespan, the shrimp typically go through four instars, or molting periods, when they discard their casings. Molting generally takes place when the shrimp reaches a length of 4.5 mm, 9 mm, 12 mm, and 16 mm (5/8"). Females, however, have been known to form a fifth instar, growing to a length of 22 mm (7/8"). As a result, a large Mysis pattern is not out of the question.

mysis reticula structurePopular food source for Steelhead


Unlike other Great Lakes crustaceans, Mysis shrimp feature two large, stalked compound eyes. Its head is fused to the first thoracic segment, and several pairs of laterally moving appendages, called maxillae and maxillipeds, extend forward beyond the head. A tough, semi-transparent carapace runs along the shrimp?s dorsal and lateral surfaces, shielding its thorax. Jointed swimming legs hang below. Its abdomen is divided into six segments, and two fluid cavities, called statocysts, make up the tail. It?s believed that a small, dense particle inside each statocyst helps the Mysis orient itself to its environment.

Another view of the mysis shrimp


Posted on Monday, November 25 @ 12:12:47 PST by admin

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