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Gronaw Grass Shrimp Patterns and How-To

I have been getting a lot of response and questions about the simple-to-tie grass shrimp hairjig patterns that Jeffrey Abney is having so much success with in North Carolina. Believe me, I never thought such a simple, easy to tie pattern would prove so deadly, but I am nonetheless delighted with our success with them. In the photo above are several olive/ green / gray patterns that have done well in the dark waters of Dixie. They are on 1/32 and 1/64th oz ball head jigs from Bass Pro White River Fly Shops and are either gold or nickel in color.

For the body of the jig, we prefer sparkle braid in either peach/orange color or the tan/pearl. Number 6 or 8 waxed tying thread is fine. Brown or tan thread works well, but color combos are endless. The tail portion of the jig can be craft hair or marabou. For most of my jigs, I prefer craft hair because I can get a lot of jigs out of one skein.

One of our top producers is this simple olive pattern. On these drab/plain patterns, I am trying to mimic the natural colors of the freshwater shrimp, which can be light brown or olive, depending on the water color you are fishing. I believe the sparkle braid attracts the fish to the jig, and when tipped with a live bait or Gulp product seals the deal for a strike. Often times, no tipping is needed for aggressive fish. Gold seems to work slightly better in tannin-stained water than the nickle, don't ask me why! It should be pointed out that primo fish biologist and Pond Boss founder Bob Lusk was instrumental in having me develope this pattern for giant, Richmond Mill bluegills.

Perhaps the top dog for Jeffrey Abney's blackwater river gilling adventures has been this pink edition of the grass shrimp on the gold head. Again, nothing special, just a more vibrant tone to the shrimp in the system, as tidal water shrimp species can have brighter hues.

It pays to experiment, as these 'plain brown wrappers' have produced when the pink or olive has not. Sometimes the gills want a little bigger profile, hence the longer, darker tails on these jigs.

Even beginner fly or jig tyers can master these deadly lures at one session at the table. I hope to post more later and wish everyone the best on bluegilling!

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Comment by dick tabbert on July 19, 2012 at 7:32pm

Thanks Jim for the info

Comment by Jim Gronaw on July 2, 2012 at 9:23pm

Thanks, Steve...you tie a good jig, and if you are doing pink, try them in some dark water environs and let me know how you do!

Comment by Steve Fleckenstein on July 2, 2012 at 6:07pm

Nice lookin jigs.I tied up a few tonite,pink black and chartreuse.The only colors I could find.I used marabou for 1 and kiptail for the others.The braid I used is called diamond braid,looks like the same.The bodies on mine are closer to the hook bend also.I'm anxious to try them out.Thanks again for posting.

Comment by Jim Gronaw on June 30, 2012 at 6:55pm

I actually used to fly fish a good bit about 20-years ago, and may well be ready for a spiritual conversion!

Comment by Greg McWilliams on June 30, 2012 at 4:43pm

You got'em , Bro. Jim!!!!!! Got your fly-rod handy????????   :-) Ready to come on over to the DARK SIDE??????

Comment by Jim Gronaw on June 30, 2012 at 4:12pm

Looks good to me! I'll take a dozen!

Comment by Greg McWilliams on June 30, 2012 at 3:17pm

It is funny a year ago pink was a go to color but those flies aren't working now!!!!!! But after the SUCCESS JEFFERY has had, I will give this a try!!!!!!!

Comment by Jeffrey D. Abney on June 30, 2012 at 3:05pm

I'd like to fish that one Greg.......

Comment by Greg McWilliams on June 30, 2012 at 3:03pm

Nice TIE , JIM, how about this one for resemblance?????

Comment by Jim Gronaw on June 30, 2012 at 11:59am

Tony...that slow-fall-rate thing may be better with your creations. The 'hackle-jigs' I posted yesterday sink slower than the standard shrimp patterns, and 1/80 oz offerings may be taken too deep by your larger fish, complicating catch and release issues.

Lemme know what happens!

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