The Polar Shrimp is a steelhead fly that has endured the test of time. Fact is, a whole bunch of the fly patterns we fish effectively today are related to the patterns fished decades ago. We have the benefit of better hooks, lines, leaders, and some great new materials. Our cheniles give us a choice of fluorescence that was not available fifty years ago, In those days, black chenille and red wool yarn were common in winter steelhead flies.
My Polar Shrimp of the 1970s was mostly a winter steelhead fly tied on Eagle Claw 1197-B hooks, typically from size 2 to size 6. The tail was composed of neck-hackle fibers, the body of hot pink chenille, the throat was either red or hot orange saddle or chinese neck hackle, gathered below the hook into a beard. and the wing was usually kip tail. On rare occasion I would use Polar Bear hair and Jungle Cock to dress a few personal flies. I tied these flies by the hundred dozens in winter, and similar quantities of Green Butt Skunks in the summer.
Polar Shrimp: 2012. Here is a fancied-up Polar Shrimp that is built from the original pattern. Throw on some hot-tipped rubber legs for a wiggly tail, use the Fl. Shrimp Pink medium chenille, an orange saddle hackle as webby as you can find (Schlappen is great for these flies), Arctic Fox-tail wing, and a nice flashy topping of Krystal Flash and Holographic Pink Flashabou, and you have a steelhead fly worthy of its ancestry.
Fish the Polar Shrimp anytime the water is cold, in dirty water especially, but you know steelhead; the most important thing about a fly is just using a good knot to tie it on and swimming it through the water where steelhead live.
Remember the hang-down position too. Let it lay in the water below you, after making the full swing, and wait for it, then give it a 6″ strip and see if you get yanked.
Enhanced Polar Shrimp
Hook: TMC 7999 #2-6
Bead: 7/32 Plummeting Tungsten Bead Fl Orange
Tail: Hot Tipped Crazy Legs Purple Pink
Body: Medium Fl. Shrimp Pink Chenille
Hackle: Hot Orange Schlappen
Wing: Eumer Arctic Fox
Topping: Fl. Fucsia Krystal Flash and Holographic Pink Fashabou