How To Tie An Avalon Shrimp: Become A Fly Tying Pro

The sun dropped over the horizon, throwing a warm orange glow across the sea. You had been waiting for this moment for weeks – the opportunity to cast your line into the ocean and catch the biggest shrimp of your life. But as you pull out your gear, you realize you don’t remember how to tie the perfect Avalon Shrimp. Be at ease; we are here to assist you.

You must gather the essential materials and tools to tie an Avalon Shrimp. The process starts after you have everything in place. Prepare the hook, attach the thread, and carefully build the body using specific materials that mimic the appearance and movement of a shrimp.

Don’t forget the eyes, which add a realistic touch. With each step, you’ll be one step closer to creating a fly that will catch the attention of those elusive saltwater predators.

So, get your fly-tying tools and materials ready because we’re about to embark on an exciting journey of creating a fly that will increase your chances of success on the flats. Let’s get started!

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The History of Avalon Shrimp

The Avalon Shrimp fly pattern was created by Mauro Ginevri, an experienced fly fisherman and manager at the Avalon Fly Fishing Lodge in Cayo Largo, Cuba. Born in Italy, Ginevri moved to Cuba in the late 1990s, where he saw an opportunity to develop a fly that would effectively mimic the extra-large shrimp that permit in the region feed on.

Contrary to popular belief, Ginevri designed the Avalon Shrimp to imitate a shrimp rather than a crab. He aimed to create a versatile permit pattern that would work in various locations where these elusive fish are found. He wanted a fly that would sink quickly into deeper water, swim upright, and have a realistic profile.

Through extensive testing and refining, Ginevri succeeded in developing the Avalon Shrimp, which has since become one of the most successful and sought-after fly patterns for targeting Permit and other saltwater species. Its origin in the fertile waters of Cuba, where permits feed heavily on shrimp, adds to its credibility and effectiveness in enticing these challenging fish.

What Makes The Avalon Shrimp A Remarkable Fly Pattern?

Regarding fly patterns for saltwater fishing, the Avalon Shrimp stands out as a remarkable option. This fly pattern has gained significant popularity among anglers targeting species like Permit, Triggerfish, Bonefish, and Trevally. But what exactly makes the Avalon Shrimp so special? Let’s dive in and explore its unique characteristics and design elements.

Realistic Shrimp Imitation:

The Avalon Shrimp is meticulously crafted to mimic an extra-large shrimp, which happens to be a favored food source for many saltwater species.

Its design accurately replicates the appearance and movement of a live shrimp, making it irresistible to fish.

The combination of lifelike features, including a slender body, long tail, and intricately tied legs, creates an incredibly convincing imitation.

Versatile Effectiveness:

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Avalon Shrimp is its versatility. Originally designed to target permits, this fly pattern has proven effective for various species in various locations.

Anglers have reported successful catches of Yellow Margin and Moustache Triggerfish in the Red Sea and Bonefish and Bluefin Trevally in Seychelles. The Avalon Shrimp’s ability to entice different species showcases its adaptability and allure.

Sink Rate and Swimming Action:

What sets the Avalon Shrimp apart is its ability to sink quickly into deeper waters while maintaining an upright swimming posture.

This sinking action swiftly helps the fly reach the desired depth, making it more enticing to fish that feed closer to the bottom.

Additionally, the Avalon Shrimp’s upright swimming motion imitates the natural movement of a shrimp, adding to its realism and attractiveness.

How Long Does It Take to Tie An Avalon Shrimp?

When tying the Avalon Shrimp, the time required can vary depending on several factors. While providing an exact time frame is complex, an estimate would be around 5 minutes per fly. However, it’s important to note that the complexity of the pattern and individual tying skills can influence the tying time.

Pattern Complexity:

The Avalon Shrimp is a meticulously designed fly pattern that incorporates several intricate elements to imitate the appearance and movement of a shrimp.

Tying these elements, such as the slender body, long tail, and carefully tied legs, requires attention to detail and precision.

The more experienced a tier becomes with the pattern, the more efficiently they can replicate these elements, reducing the tying time.

Individual Tying Skills:

The time required to tie an Avalon Shrimp can also be influenced by an individual’s tying skills and experience level.

Seasoned fly tiers who have mastered the pattern and have developed efficient tying techniques may be able to tie the fly more quickly compared to beginners or those less familiar with the pattern.

Tying times can improve with practice, allowing for faster production of these remarkable flies.

What Materials And Tools Are Required to Tie An Avalon Shrimp?

You will need a specific set of materials and tools to tie an effective Avalon Shrimp fly. These components play a crucial role in creating a fly that closely imitates the appearance and movement of a shrimp, enticing saltwater species such as Permit and bonefish.


Hooks: The most commonly used hook for the Avalon Shrimp is the Tiemco 811S or a similar saltwater hook. Choose the appropriate hook size based on the target species and fishing conditions.

Threads: Use a strong and durable thread that matches the color of the fly or complements it. Threads such as Danville 210 Denier or UTC 140 Denier are popular choices.

Body Materials: The body of the Avalon Shrimp can be crafted using various materials, including craft fur, EP Fibers, or synthetic shrimp dubbing. These materials offer lifelike movement and translucency, imitating the appearance of a shrimp.

Tailing Materials: The fly’s tail requires a material that provides movement and enhances the fly’s profile. Select materials like EP Fibers, craft fur, or natural fibers such as marabou or hackle.

Eyes play a crucial role in imitating the eyes of a shrimp. You can use bead chain eyes, dumbbell eyes, or mono eyes. Choose the appropriate size and weight based on the desired sink rate and the water depth you’ll fish.

Specific Qualities and Variations of Materials:

When selecting materials for the Avalon Shrimp, consider the following qualities:

Durability: Saltwater species can be aggressive, so choose materials that can withstand the harsh saltwater environment and repeated strikes.

Transparency: Shrimp have semi-transparent bodies, so selecting translucent materials can enhance the fly’s realistic appearance.

Movement: Materials that provide natural movement in the water, such as EP Fibers or craft fur, are excellent choices for the body and tailing materials.

Color Variation: Shrimp come in various colors, so consider using materials in different shades of tan, brown, or olive to imitate the natural variations in shrimp coloration.


Scissors: A good pair of sharp scissors is essential for trimming materials, cutting threads, and shaping the fly.

Bobbin Holder: A bobbin holder helps control the tension and distribution of the thread while tying the fly. Choose a bobbin holder that feels comfortable in your hand and accommodates the thread spool size.

Whip Finish Tool: A whip finish tool allows you to securely finish the fly by creating a neat knot. It’s a handy tool for ensuring the fly’s durability and longevity.

Bodkin or Dubbing Needle: A bodkin or dubbing needle is useful for applying adhesives, spreading materials, and teasing fibers for a more natural appearance.

Having these essential materials and tools ready will enable you to tie Avalon Shrimp flies that closely resemble real shrimp, increasing your chances of success on the water. Experiment with different materials and variations to find the combination that works best for your fishing conditions and target species.

Step-by-step tutorial: How to tie an Avalon Shrimp

Now, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of tying an Avalon Shrimp fly. This pattern has proven highly effective in enticing saltwater species like Permit and bonefish. So, grab your materials and tools, and let’s get started!

Step 1: Prepare the Hook

Start by securing the hook in your vise. Make sure it is positioned securely and facing upwards, ready for tying. Having a solid foundation is crucial for tying a durable and effective fly.

Step 2: Attach the Thread

Take your thread, such as Danville 210 Denier or UTC 140 Denier, and attach it to the hook shank just behind the eye. Make a few wraps to secure it in place, and then run the thread towards the bend of the hook, leaving a small space at the eye.

Step 3: Tie in the Tailing Material

Select your chosen tailing material, such as EP Fibers or craft fur, and measure a suitable length. Tie it in at the hook’s bend, ensuring it extends slightly beyond the hook’s bend. This tailing material will provide movement and enhance the fly’s profile in the water.

Step 4: Add the Body Material

Now, it’s time to create the body of the Avalon Shrimp. Choose your body material, like craft fur or synthetic shrimp dubbing, and dub it onto the thread. Take a small amount of material and twist it onto the thread, creating a dubbed rope.

Begin wrapping the dubbed thread forward, forming a tapered body along the hook shank. Secure the body material with thread wraps as you go.

Step 5: Attach the Eyes

Select your preferred eyes, such as bead chain eyes or dumbbell eyes, and attach them to the sides of the hook shank, just above the hook bend. Ensure they are aligned and positioned correctly to imitate the eyes of a shrimp. Secure them with thread wraps, ensuring they are firmly in place.

Step 6: Complete the Body

Continue wrapping the thread forward, covering the base of the eyes and securing them further. Make neat and tight thread wraps to ensure the eyes remain fixed in place. Continue wrapping the thread until you reach just behind the eye of the hook.

Step 7: Shape the Body

Use your scissors to trim any excess body material, creating a tapered and streamlined body shape. Take your time and make precise cuts to achieve the desired silhouette. This step is essential for imitating the natural appearance of a shrimp.

Step 8: Whip Finish the Fly

To finish off the fly, use a whip finish tool to create a neat knot behind the eye of the hook. Secure the thread with several wraps, then trim the excess thread using scissors. Ensure the knot is tight and secure to ensure the longevity of the fly.

Step 9: Final Touches

Inspect the fly for any loose or protruding fibers. Trim them carefully to give the fly a clean and tidy appearance. You can also apply a small amount of clear head cement or UV resin to the thread wraps for added durability.

Tips and tricks for successfully tying an Avalon Shrimp

Tying an effective and durable Avalon Shrimp fly requires attention to detail and some useful tips and tricks. Here are a few pointers to help you achieve success when tying this remarkable pattern:

Use High-Quality Materials

As mentioned earlier, invest in quality materials that closely resemble shrimp’s natural colors and textures. Opt for synthetic materials like craft fur, EP Fibers, or shrimp dubbing, as they provide durability and lifelike movement in the water.

Size Matters

Consider the size of the shrimp your target species prefer. Vary the size of the fly to match the local shrimp population. Typically, sizes ranging from #2 to #6 work well for most saltwater species.

Experiment with Colors

Shrimp come in various colors, and the color variations can play a significant role in attracting fish. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades of tan, brown, olive, and even pink. Match the color to the prevailing conditions and the natural shrimp colors in your fishing area.

Add Some Sparkle

Incorporate some subtle sparkle or flash materials into the pattern to make your Avalon Shrimp more enticing. Sparse flash fibers or pearl Krystal Flash can mimic shrimp’s reflective qualities and attract hungry fish’s attention.

Secure the Eyes Properly

The eyes of the fly should be securely attached to withstand the force of aggressive strikes and casting. Use super glue or UV resin to reinforce the thread wraps and ensure the eyes stay in place.

Maintain a Taper

Pay attention to maintaining a tapered body shape throughout the tying process. This will give your fly a realistic profile and enhance its swimming action in the water. Trim any excess materials carefully to maintain the desired shape.

Practice Thread Control

Mastering thread control is crucial for achieving neat and secure wraps. Practice maintaining consistent tension and spacing between wraps to create a smooth and durable body.

Use Sharp And Precise Tools

Having sharp scissors, a fine-tipped bodkin, and a quality whip finish tool will make the tying process much easier. Sharp tools ensure clean cuts and precise placement, resulting in a professional-looking fly.

Take Your Time

Rushing through the tying process can lead to sloppy workmanship. Take your time to ensure each step is executed with precision and care. Attention to detail will result in a more effective and aesthetically pleasing fly.

Seek Inspiration

Explore online resources, books, and magazines for inspiration and new techniques. Study different variations of the Avalon Shrimp pattern tied by experienced fly tiers. Adapt and incorporate their techniques into your own tying style.

What Are Some Effective Ways to Fish With The Avalon Shrimp?

After tying the Avalon Shrimp, it’s time to go fishing with it. Various practical tactics might improve your chances of success on the water. This unique fly design, famed for its ability to tempt a wide range of saltwater species, necessitates a planned approach to enhance its efficacy.

Presentation Is Key

To effectively fish with the Avalon Shrimp, it’s crucial to master the art of presentation. These flies are designed to mimic the natural movement of shrimp, so a lifelike presentation is essential. Cast your fly to the target area, allowing it to sink to the desired depth. Then, retrieve the fly using short, quick strips to imitate the movements of a fleeing shrimp.

Slow And Steady Retrieves

When targeting species like a permit or bonefish, employing a slow and steady retrieve can be highly effective. These fish are known to stalk their prey, so a deliberate, slow-paced retrieve can trigger a strike. Maintain a consistent speed and rhythm, allowing the Avalon Shrimp to swim enticingly through the water column.

Vary Your Retrieve

While a slow and steady retrieve is often successful, don’t be afraid to experiment with different retrieve techniques. Some days, fish may respond better to a faster, more aggressive retrieve, while on other occasions, a subtle twitch or pause in the retrieve may prove irresistible. Pay attention to the fish’s behavior and adjust your retrieve accordingly.

Target Specific Structures

When fishing with the Avalon Shrimp, it’s essential to identify the areas where fish are likely to be found. Look for structures such as coral heads, mangroves, or submerged grass beds.

These areas provide shelter and serve as feeding grounds for various saltwater species. Cast your fly near these structures and work it along the edges or through openings to entice fish.

Stay Observant

Observation is key to successful fishing with the Avalon Shrimp. Pay attention to the behavior of the fish and any signs of feeding activity.

Look for tailing fish, nervous water, or baitfish activity, as these can indicate the presence of your target species.

Adjust your presentation and retrieve based on these observations to increase your chances of hooking up.

Final Say

The Avalon Shrimp is a remarkable fly pattern that has captured the attention and admiration of anglers worldwide. Its realistic imitation of a shrimp, versatility, and proven track record make it an essential addition to any saltwater angler’s fly box.

By following the step-by-step tutorial and utilizing the essential materials and tools, you can tie your Avalon Shrimp. Remember to focus on the details, such as the color variations and specific qualities of the materials, to create a fly that closely resembles the natural prey of the fish you’re targeting.

With its success stories and testimonials from anglers who have landed prized catches using the Avalon Shrimp, there’s no doubt about its effectiveness. Whether you’re pursuing a permit, bonefish, or other saltwater species, this fly pattern has proven it’s worth time and time again.

So, next time you find yourself on a tropical saltwater flat, don’t forget to tie on an Avalon Shrimp and unleash its magic. Prepare for an unforgettable fishing experience as you tempt those elusive fish with a fly that perfectly imitates their preferred meal. Tight lines and happy fishing!

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