I think it’s fair to say Ally Gowans’ superb design revolutionised salmon fly-tying. His Shrimp has accounted for thousands of fish worldwide. When Ally first wrote about it in T&S in 1988, most anglers were put off by the long wing and tail, believing fish would nip at the fly without getting hooked. In my view, the long tail helps to keep the fly swimming on an even keel, resulting in more consistent hooking. If you ever hold a Shrimp tied by Ally himself, you’ll see he ties it more sparsely than most of us. This makes it more mobile – long strands of bucktail are surprisingly mobile in strong currents. The natural-squirrel beard and underwing improves transparency, while cock head hackles pulsate and flicker as the fly is moved in the water. The orange Ally’s isn't used as often as it was once, but a number of variants have spawned from the original fly. Red comes into its own as the season progresses. There's also a version that’s a mix of red and orange, which I use all the time as it saves me from having to tie two separate flies, taking precious space in my box. The yellow and the black versions are worth tying. Silver- and gold-bodied Shrimps are popular for fresh fish, while badger head hackles look highly appealing.