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HPU Brite-Eyed Shiner Tying Instructions

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HPU Brite-Eyed Shiners Sample Patterns<

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 rubber cement.

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.

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