Online Fly Fishing Magazine

Premier Patterns: Powder Shellback Booby

Kieron Jenkins has a fish catching winter pattern you’re not to be without…

Powder Shellback Booby


HOOK: FM 5105 Comp Heavyweight Barbless, size 8
THREAD: Fl Fire Orange UNI 6/0
TAIL: Veniard marabou hint of pink & magenta
SHELLBACK: 5mm yellow foam
BODY: Powder Pink & Competition Pink Block30 Fritz
EYES: 7mm pink foam

This is a great Booby for the likes of Farmoor during the winter months. It has colour, buoyancy and most importantly a lot of movement to entice the weariest of fish.

With the concrete design of Farmoor it doesn’t take too many hard frosts to considerably drop the water temperatures, forcing fish deeper in the water in search of food and comfort. When the fish are deep in the winter months you have to go down after them, especially earlier in the day when the temperatures are cooler. The best way to do this is with the Airflo Booby Basher, a Di8 shooting head which allows anglers to cut down the head of the line to suit their casting ability, and a team of two or even a single Booby.
Boobies are often best as they have a great amount of buoyancy to keep the flies slightly off the bottom or above weedbeds, as well as allowing you to fish quickly or slowly to force the flies deeper or higher in the water column.

This Shellback Booby really lends itself better to the shallower parts of the lake, for example, if the fish are running the ledge closer into the bank, or maybe over weedbeds a fair distance out, it makes your flies ride higher in the water, hopefully allowing the flies to glide over these snags. It’s also a great alternative to changing your fly line if the fish are higher in the water than expected. You can simply swap your pointy fly to the Shellback Booby, or indeed increase the length of your leader rather than changing your fly line set-up.

Tying Tips

  1. I find using a waxed thread such as UNI 6/0 is a great way to secure Booby eyes to a hook, lay a bed of thread on the hook before attaching the eyes, and secure in a figure of eight motion. Unlike chain eyes, I prefer to apply a small amount of glue to the underneath of the eyes, this secures the eyes in place for longer.
  2. Create the shellback with a 4 or 5mm cylinder of foam, cut it in half with a scissors and tie in at the bend of the hook, pulling it over the Fritz body, and secure at the head before the eyes.
  3. Mixing two Block30 Fritz’s together is a great way to make a bright pattern a little more subtle. Simply tie in the two at the same time at the base of the hook, and wind together, ensuring to brush back the strands of Fritz before winding onto the hook. This makes the Fritz lay perfectly backwards on the hook without trapping any beneath the core.

Kieron Jenkins

Born and raised on the rivers and lakes of south Wales, Kieron Jenkins has become one of the leading competition anglers of our time. With multiple ‘Brown Bowls’ under his belt, along with a creditable fourth position at World level, fly fishing and fly tying has become his life, passion and obsession for Fulling Mill’s Digital Marketing Manager.

Written by