The materials used to tie the HPU Brite-Eyed Shiner
can vary widely from the name-brand and size of hook to the eye inserts.
Only your imagination limits the number of different minnows that can be
created. There are a few things that I do recommend. The streamer is
called a "Brite-Eyed Shiner" because of the eye inserts that I use.
While testing materials with my light filters to find out how visible they were
underwater, I discovered that every insert that I tested turned out to be just
another black dot. The standard eye inserts, either stick-on metallic tape
or 3-D molded epoxy, added nothing to the fly. So the search for a
better eye insert was on. Swarovski Rhinestone Crystals turned out to be
the best and less expensive. In fact, rhinestones cost less than 3-D epoxy eyes
at the fly shop. Rhinestones come in several sizes and a
rainbow of colors. The best colors that I have found are: Clear, Citrine, Peridot, Aqua, Sun, and White Opal. There are lots more colors that are
quite visible but they are just a shade or two different. These suggested
colors are varied enough to afford good choices to match or contrast with the
rest of the shiner's materials.
I suggest the following name-brands of offset worm hooks:
Gamakatsu 071## and Eagle Claw L095JL. Both of these brands come in a #2
hook size. The Gamakatsu is the more expensive of the two brands, but it is also
sharper and made from stronger wire. If you want an offset worm hook
smaller than a size #2, I suggest bending your own out of Eagle Claw Aberdeen
#214 bronze or #202 gold hooks. These are both light wire hooks that
are stronger after you
bend them than the original hook.
The size of the brass eyes that you use on the hook is
entirely up to you. I like a 5/32 inch brass hourglass eye on a #2 hook.
This creates a fly light enough to be casted by a 2 or 3 weight rod.
However, the shiners that I tied for the Chum Salmon trip in British Columbia,
had 1/4 inch eyes on #2 and #1 hooks. Remember that this hook rides
hook-point-up without any weight on it, so eyes smaller than 5/32 inch or of a
lighter material could be used.
I tie the belly of the shiner in below the hook-shank.
It could be tied in on top of the hook-shank just as well or above and
below the hook-shank. I often tie it in in both positions when I am making
large shiners imitations. I am using olive Fluoro Fibre by Spirit
River here. Always cut your material twice the length of the part of
the shiner you are tying in. This way you can tie the material down with a
couple of thread wraps, adjust it for length, double it back, then finish
wrapping it in. This technique of doubling back the material on each step
makes the shiner more durable. I trim the
belly material in a bevel from the middle of the material to the tail.
I usually tie the flash down above the hook-shank and tie
down the other half of this strip of material down just above the
hourglass eyes. My favorite flash is Holographic Mylar Motion 1/64 inch by
Spirit River or Liqui Flash by Targus because they are so tuff and are one of the best reflecting
materials on the market. Sometimes I don't use flash but tie in a fluorescent material in this
position or a white material like Polar Aire by Spirit River to make a gut sack behind the hourglass eye.
The back (Dorsum) of this warm water shiner is black Fluoro Fibre.
I tied it down, doubled it back, finished wrapping it down, whip finished, then
glued the head threads. I trimmed
it in a bevel from the middle of the material to the tail. Trimming both
the belly and back in this fashion gives the shiner a nice taper.
Finally glue in the rhinestone eye inserts with a good rubber
cement or jewelry glue. I find that super-glue will not hold the inserts in
the hourglass eyes as well as rubber cement. I think it is because the
brass hourglass eyes shrink more in cold water than the crystal rhinestones, thus popping
the insert loose. Rhinestones can be bought with a plain back or a "Hot
Fix" back. I would suggest buying the plain back because they are less
expensive and the Hot Fix does not hold the insert into the eye as well as
If you choose, you can paint on fins or speckles or blotches
with a permanent marker pen to enhance the shiner. I often do this
to anatomically correctly imitate a specific species of minnow that lives in my
streams. Gizzard Shad's purple shoulder spot and pale gray fins are
easily added with this technique along with the particular colorations of other
species of baitfish.
This color combination of gold-black-medium green is my best
producing combination on cloudy days when the water is in the comfort
temperature range of the fish. On my Chum Salmon fishing trip to BC this
shiner caught more fresh salmon than any of my other color combinations.
Several of the Chum caught with this shiner were so fresh that they were covered
in Sea Lice. However this is gravel on this male.