Ghost Shrimp Flies for the Ghosts of the Surf:
After years of fly fishing the southern California beaches
catching halibut, bass, croaker, and lot's of surf perch,
I still could not catch on a regular basis the one fish
I saw most often, the elusive Corbina.
Corbina on the Fly
By Floyd Sparks, San Diego, CA
Fishing for them using ultra light spinning gear and live
sand crabs for bait I became very successful, but only
at certain times of the day, sun up and sun down.
Until now I had been fishing the lagoons and harbors
using a fluorescent orange ghost shrimp in size 1/0
catching lot's of halibut and bass. I decided to scale
down the ghost shrimp to a size 2 and try some different
colors in hopes of catching surfperch.
I walked down to the beach about 3 hours before sunset
and started casting a size 2 hot lime ghost shrimp. After
an hour, and about the same time the sun darkened behind
an incoming fog bank, I had the first of 3 corbina ranging
from 2- 5 lbs. Now 3 fish might not seem like a lot but when
it comes to corbina on the fly I was really happy.
The next morning I went back out to see if maybe it was
a fluke. I fished the gray light and was shortly rewarded
with another nice corbina. I was leaving on a trip to Baja
and only had an hour to fish but I still managed 2 corbina.
Now I was starting to see a pattern developing. Gray light
and the hot lime ghost shrimp.
On my return from Baja I fished the beach that evening and
this time I had more time and success, I caught 5, yes 5
more corbina. The rest is history. The size 2 hot lime
ghost shrimp catches corbina on a regular basis. I tie the
fly in a few other colors and have caught corbina on all
of them but the hot lime is by far my favorite.
I fish 6 or 8 wt. rods using Rio's striped bass 250 and 350
grain sinking lines with the aqualux running line, 6-8 lb.test
leader with a three strip and quick pause retrieve.
If you tie your own the recipe follows, or if you want to purchase
these flies and the materials you can find them at
Recipe: Ghost Shrimp
Hook: Size 2 Mustad 34007 or Trey Combs Big Game hook.
Thread: Fine monofilament.
Shellback: Hot lime Area Rules Fish Skin cut into ¼ inch strips.
Head: Medium fluorescent chartreuse chenille.
Eyes: Red glass beads on 20 lb. test with ends melted.
Ribbing Fine monofilament thread.
Legs: Chartreuse fluorofibre.
Body: Chartreuse cactus chenille.
1. Using the fine mono thread make a base over the
entire shank. Coat with pink zap a gap.
2. Tie in at the bend of the hook a small amount of Chartreuse
buck tail topped with 5 strands of pearl crystal flash.
3. Trim a tail in one end of the area rules fishskin strips
and lay over buck tail. Tie off leaving the forward piece
long and the trimmed end over the buck tail.
4. Fold back the fishskin and secure with a few wraps of
thread. Wrap some medium chenille building up a head
on the last few wraps add the glass bead eyes, which were
pre made on 20 lb. mono with melted ends to keep the beads
secure, a drop of zap a gap also helps keep the eyes in place.
Fold the fishskin over the eyes and chenille forming a shell
for the head. Secure the fishskin in front of the head with
a few wraps of thread.