Ally's Shrimp is arguably the most popular salmon fly of the last 25 years and was invented by Ally Gowans, an instructor based near Pitlochry in Scotland and who is often seen on the Tay and Tummel. As the Tummel is a regular for me, I often fish Ally's patterns which are generally characterized by long flowing tails. Ally's Shrimp has been voted "Salmon Fly of the Millennium" and is also one of my most regularly requested brooches.
I follow Ally's formula pretty closely but use Davie McPhail's tag and rib technique. The tag and rib are oval silver tinsel, the tail is hot orange bucktail with silver Krystal flash, the underwing is grey squirrel top and bottom. I stick to Ally's original formula for the squirrel, unlike Davie McPhail who likes to roll the squirrel tail around the body. I think the original formula shows the body more, which makes both a brighter fly and a better brooch. The overwing is made from a bunch of golden pheasant tippets. This is an impressionistic fly and the black bars of the tippet tips hint at the eyes of the shrimp. The collar is an Orange Hackle from a Whiting 4B Hen Cape.Finally, whilst Ally's original design calls for a head of red thread, I like to glam it up with a head of Antique Red Kreinik Blending Filament, which gives a nice jeweled effect.
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