As baitfish imitations go, Shenk’s Minnow might be the most fun to tie. While other patterns, like Norm Zeigler’s Schminnow, might actually be a little easier to craft, no other simple baitfish patterns calls for baby-blanket yarn in order to put it together.
Above, Tim Flagler ties the Shenk’s Minnow with his own variations (including the yarn), and duly credits Pennsylvania fly-fishing legend Ed Shenk for the fly’s creation. It’s a great pattern for anything from striped bass fishing in the spring and fall, to steelhead and, in smaller variations, panfish.
Given that baby-blanket yarn comes in all kinds of colors—and that it takes color well, with Sharpies or even craft paint—this fly can be tied in any number of styles. And, as Flagler notes, it’s easily shapable, meaning it can be trimmed to resemble everything from a sculpin to a sleek minnow.
I’m going to give it a whirl this week. See what you think.