ALLY’S SHRIMP

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - SALMON LESSONS -

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.

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