Shotglass – Shea Gunkel

I was reminded of this pattern this morning while browsing Facebook. Shea is one of my newest friends on Facebook and so this reminded me to get information posted about this pattern, because it’s a good one! Shea is a guide with SPlatte Guides in Colorado. He works with Hopper Juan Ramirez. Shea brought this pattern to light back in 2011. Also keep in mind this will give the fish something different to look at besides some of the mainstays out there. Give it a SHOT!

Shotglass watery olive

Shotglass watery olive

The ‘Shotglass’ is a spin off of the original Splatte series and is a great pattern to have in the box when you’re looking for something a bit different.  The original thought behind this fly was incorporating a clear glass bead into the thorax, representing the gas bubble in an emerging nymph.   As far as making for a great looking fly, this did the trick and put the smack down on fish in the process.  Not pictured are the Red, Blue Dunn, and Dark Brown version of this fly.  The Dark Brown and Dunn have taken the place of RS-2’s and pheasant tails in my box, with the added durability and fish appeal it’s really a no brainer.  With the variety of colors tungsten offered from Montana Fly Company, it was an easy exercise to incorporate tungsten into the pattern by replacing the glass.  Almost any fishy colored thread can have a Lucent tungsten bead to match.  Two of my favorites include the coffee and burnt orange, but they all have a place in the box.  Hook selection for this fly can range from straight to curved but the hook gap must be considered before expecting the fly to perform the way it should.  I originally tied this on the TMC 2488, like I do everything else, but found that the hook gap could be overrun by the bead in smaller sizes.  Field testing proved a ton of hook-ups, but I wasn’t pleased with the amount of fish being unbuttoned during the struggle.  The clear choice from there was the TMC 2499SPBL.  Despite the fact that this hook is technically barbless, the ‘shovel’ like barb has a holding property that allows fish and dropper rigs to remain on the hook. I’ve never had a problem with either coming undone.  Other than being super sticky as well, this hook has enough gap to hold super huge fish and has become my first choice when reaching into the hook bins.  The two downsides to this hook are the expense and the fact it’s only made down to a size 18, it seems you pay a premium for all those features.   Special thanks to Hopper Juan for taking these pictures.

3 Comments

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3 Responses to Shotglass – Shea Gunkel

  1. Richard

    Great flies,Is there any tying video for these.

  2. Collin Wietfeldt

    What size of beads are you using on this pattern? Would love to know, looks great!
    Collin Wietfeldt