Swedish version

HPU Brite-Eyed Emerald Shiner
Cypriniformes Cyprinidae Notropis atherinoides

By Fox Statler

  The Emerald Shiner is now the most abundant minnow in the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. It can be found in all the large streams throughout the Mississippi drainage, all the Great Lakes and their tributaries, the Hudson River drainage and northward into Canada. Emerald Shiners feeds at the surface down to mid-water in the water column. It prefers the open-water of channels, large streams to large rivers of moderate to low gradient, with medium to slow current. It is found on a large range of bottoms and is tolerant of turbidity. The Emerald Shiner avoids upland streams like those within the Ozarks. The spawning period is from May to July. The preferred spawning habitat is at night over shallow sand to firm mud bottoms. The Emerald Shiner's appearance is a slender minnow about three inches long with a white belly, silvery lower-sides, silvery upper-sides, a green-olive back with a faint peacock stripe down the middle, olive head, light green chin and cheek, and all fins are clear in color.

Hook: #2 Gamakatsu Offset Worm #07109
: White thread for the body and Olive thread for the head, 8/0 or 6/0
Eyes: 5/32 inch Nickel Real-Eyes by Spirit River
Eye Inserts: 10ss Green AB Swarovski Rhinestones
Belly: White Fluoro Fibre by Spirit River
Lower-Sides: Silver Crystal Splash by Spirit River
Lateral Stripe: Emerald Holographic Mylar Motion by Spirit River
Upper-Sides: Silver Crystal Splash by Spirit River
Back: Olive Fluoro Fibre by Spirit River
Permanent Marker Pens: Olive or Dark Green for a faint mid-dorsal stripe down the minnows back and head.

  An explanation of the choice of material components. This is an HPU (Hook-Point-Up) Brite-Eyed (rhinestone crystal eye insert) imitation. The Gamakatsu Offset Worm hook was chosen for several reasons. First, this hook rides hook-point-up (HPU) with no materials on it. This is because the offset in the hook-shank places the hook-eye in the middle of the hook-bend and the heaviest part of the hook, the hook-shank, is below the hook-eye. Very little weight, if any at all, is need to maintain the hook-point-up posture even in the roughest current. The lightness of the imitation lets the shiner glide through the water column instead of diving for the bottom immediately. Second, this hook is extremely sharp. Sharp enough to penetrate your fingernail. Lastly, this Gamakatsu hook is made of nickel-cadmium making it quite strong. I have personally landed twenty pound plus Chum Salmon with it.

  5/32 inch Real-Eyes are just the thing to for this shiner. They are the smallest “rimmed” hourglass shaped eye I am familiar with. The reflective abilities of their nickel plating is fabulous only to be superseded by real silver plating, which I haven't found offered on any hourglass shaped eyes. Because only a small amount of weight is need to keep the imitation upright, the 5/32 inch eyes are more than enough. This also allows the angler to use smaller weight rods to cast the shiner.

  Next, why use the rhinestone crystal eye inserts? Most eye inserts are made of metallic tape with a black spot in the center, some are coated with epoxy, others are not. Underwater these inserts appear as black dots with no attractor properties. Rhinestones capture the light underwater and reflect it back in several directions and colors. They enhance the attractor properties of the eye considerably, thus increasing the number of bites during a fishing adventure. Remember, all types of fishing success is dependent upon the number of bites the angler receives.

  Fluoro Fibre, Crystal Splash, and Holographic Mylar Motion are extremely durable materials. They all will outlast super-glue and none break-off where glue is placed on them unlike metallic materials. All three of the materials are easy to work with, don't color fade and are easy to paint with a permanent marker pen.

  Tying the pattern

  A note before tying the Emerald Shiner. Most minnows and shiners are very translucent except for the head portion of their bodies. The exceptions to these are those baitfish that are consider robust and stout shaped like sculpins, suckers, stonerollers and chubs. Because of this, the amount of material needed to tie each component of the Emerald Shiner's body is minimal. This will make the tail portion of the imitation translucent and the head opaque. Remember this when you are tying such baitfish imitations.

Step 1: Glue the 10ss Green AB Swarovski Rhinestone eye inserts into the Real-Eyes with a rubber glue or a jewelry glue especially made for glass to metal applications. Do not use super-glue because of the different contraction and expansion rates of glass crystal and plated brass eyes. In cold water, the rhinestone crystals will pop off the plated brass eyes immediately.


Step 2: Place a #2 Gamakatsu Offset Worm Hook in the vise, with the hook-point up and level-wind with White thread from behind the hook-eye to the bottom of the hook offset.

Step 3: Tie in the Real-Eyes using a crisscross pattern. Super-glue the eyes into position making sure that the hook-point is perpendicular with the plane of the eyes (hook-point straight up above) and the eyes are perpendicular to the hook-shank (the eyes are at a right angle to the shank). Let dry for a few seconds.

Step 4: Just behind the eye, tie in the Silver Crystal Splash lower-sides by tying it down just past the center of the material with a few turns of thread then double it back and finish tying it down. I prefer this doubling-back method of tying in fibrous materials because it holds the material securely with the fewest turns of thread.

Step 5: Invert the imitation or rotate the vise until the pattern is hook-point down. Tie in the White Fluoro Fibre belly at the eyes by using the same doubling-back method.

Step 6: Invert the imitation to the hook-point up position and tie in the Emerald Holographic Mylar Motion stripe above the eyes using the same doubling-back method. After tying in the stripe, pull the material of the stripe taught and place two or three spots of super-glue on it. This will make the stripe very thin and defined.

Step 7: Tie in the Silver Crystal Splash material for the upper-sides using the same doubling-back method.

Step 8: Whip finish the White thread at this location and start the Olive thread just behind the hook-eye. Step 9: Behind the hook-eye tie in the Olive Fluoro Fibre back of the imitation using the doubling-back method. Whip finish and glue.

Step 10: Trim the imitation into the shape of a slender shiner. I suggest using a sliding motion of the scissors, from the head toward the tail, as you are cutting the body materials. Step 11: With the Olive or Dark Green Permanent Marker Pen, paint the faint mid-dorsal line down the middle of the shiner's back and head.

  A note of interest. Emerald Shiners do not have emerald coloring anywhere on them. So why are they called Emerald Shiners? I don't know. However I do know that the emerald stripe on my imitation is a better attractor than the silvery sides in all colors of water. So if you want to be anatomically correct in your imitation and catch less fish, delete step #6. Remember though, the secret to better fishing is getting more bites, not having an anatomically correct imitation.

HPU Brite-Eyed Emerald Shiner


It's All Fly Fishin',
Fox Statler



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© Mats Sjöstrand 2010

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Mats Sjöstrand, Sweden

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