Contribution by: JT Fly Designs/JT Fly Designs Shop

The Redfish Ritalin for redfish is like the pheasant tail nymph fly for trout. This fly is by far the most popular for redfish. It represents a shrimp which is a main food source for redfish. If your on your boat and you throw this into the back waters and marshes just wait to see the water explode. Just be sure to add a weed guard to the fly if your fishing that thick grass. In my Etsy shop this fly is the most popular and I have made dozens for customers from the Carolina’s to Texas. Now  let’s sit down and tie this fly.  


  1.  Start by putting a saltwater jig hook in your vise. I really like the ones from Umpqua. I have tied these from 2/0 for bull reds to size 6. I prefer this fly is a size 1 or 2.    
  2. Lay down a base of thread with touching turns from the front of the hook to halfway down the bend of the hook toward the hook point 
  3. Snip a piece of cactus chenille and tie it in where you left your last thread wrap. Make a few wraps around the hook and tie the material off. Snip off the excess. I usually use colors root beer, red and orange. This will represent gills or a hot spot in the back of the hook
  4. Next you can add shrimp eyes as an option or you can skip the eyes. You will catch fish regardless with this fly
  5. Take some pseudo hair and snip a few clumps. Take a comb and brush out the under hairs. Hold the material in one hand and twist the rest of it to a point. It should be the length of the hook shank.  
  6. Tie in the pseudo hair on top of the hook shank toward the back of the hook and most of the hair will hang off the hook like a tail. The thickness of the material should be about two pencils. Snip off any excess material and take a few thread wraps so smooth out the body of the fly.   
  7. Take your first set of plastic legs and go to the halfway point of the legs. Tie them in front of the pseudo hair and fold over the second half over the first half and they will sit on top of the hook.   
  8. Take a second pair of legs and go to the halfway point on the legs again. V wrap the second half  onto the other side of the fly that way you have each half of the legs on either side of the fly. These will act like the legs of the shrimp. Take a few wraps and smooth out the legs and body of the fly 
  9. You will need two different color Palmer chenille. Take the first color and tie it in. I usually use browns, root beer and tan for the two colors. Advance your thread a few wraps and make about 4 to 5 wraps of the Palmer chenille. Tie off the material and grab the second color of your choosing for the next step.  
  10. Tie in the second color of Palmer chenille and advance your thread a few wraps. Wrap the Palmer chenille about 4 to 5 wraps and then tie off the material and cut off an excess material and smooth out the thread wraps.   
  11. Advance your thread toward the front of the hook, but not where the hook curves for the jig part
  12. Tie in dumb bell eyes or bead chain eyes with figure 8 wraps.  For the dumb bell eyes I tie in size small or medium. Use glue, head cement or uv resin to lock in the eyes.  
  13. Move your thread back to the Palmer chenille and tie in a senyo chromatic ep brush. Popular colors I use are tan, flame, purple and blue.   
  14. Advance your thread to the dumb bell eyes or bead chain eyes
  15. Take your hackle pliers and clip it onto the brush. Wrap the brush around the hook shank like you would hackle and Palmer back the hairs of the brush each wrap to try to not trap any hairs. It’s ok if some do it happens we’ll take care of that part later
  16. Once your at the dumb bell or bead chain eyes tie off the brush and snip the excess. Make a few more wraps to smooth out the head and whip finish. You can take head cement or resin to lock in the thread.  
  17. Take a brush and brush out the ep brush to get the fibers loose and you’ll see the body of the fly come to life. You can snip any brush fibers that are sticking out too long to match the others. If you don’t have a brush you can use a bodkin as well 
  18. Most important part is tie it on your fly rod and get some nice reds.   

Hope you enjoyed this tying session. This is a fun fly. Minimal materials and highly effective. Tie one up and let me know how you make out. Check out some of the pictures in this blog to see how the reds can’t resist this fly.   

Material list 

  • Umpqua saltwater jig hook
  • Cactus chenille 
  • Shrimp eyes (optional) 
  • Pseudo hair 
  • Palmer chenille (two colors) 
  • Plastic legs 
  • Senyo chromatic brush 
  • Dumb bell eyes or bead chain eyes 
  • 210 denier thread or mono thread 

Written by: Justin Thuren