"I chose the Umpqua XS 435 Bendback hook for the foundation of the fly. It’s an extremely strong forged hook with a unique shape.
Not only does the bend of the hook perfectly emulate the curvature of a mantis shrimp, but it is very well suited for patterns designed to ride in the hook point-up position.
This is critical when fishing around hard-bottom habitats like coral rubble or oysters, where getting hung up is a frequent occurrence.
Oversized mono eyes give this pattern its iconic mantis-like appearance, and the micro crusher legs and Finnish Raccoon impart this pattern with plenty of natural movement when stripped.
I prefer large Stealth chain eyes in a color that matches the body for shallower fishing applications, but heavier dumbbell eyes should be used when targeting species in deeper water.
The combination of chartreuse wire-free synthetic fox brush and crustacean tan Estaz gives the body of this fly and realistic translucency and provides a shrimpy segmented look.
Last but not least, I went with a barred round rubber leg to emulate the noticeably thicker antenna."
- Signature Tyer Drew Chicone