Salmon fly fishing with 'Irish Shrimp Flies'.
from Russell Whiteman


All these flies are tied in a similar style. The hackles are always long. I like the tail to be about as long as the rest of the fly. The middle hackle should reach half way down the tail and the front hackle should reach about half way down the middle hackle. This ensures plenty of built in movement; important from the fishing point of view.

As you will see many of these shrimp flies are very similar in appearance but there is a considerable variation in colours. From a vast experience of trial and error in the field certain colours work in better than others under particular weather conditions, as well as different types of river and of course season of the year. For example: yellow is a favourite colour when fishing in springtime whereas the orange or reds are more favoured during summer or autumn. Green coloured flies are considered best for very clear water. Many anglers would reckon on black as a 'must have' at any time of the year.

So the variation is almost endless and only years of personal experience will help boost your own confidence in which particular pattern of fly you should use. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules fishing, especially salmon fly fishing, so you are always free to try anything! Sometimes you will prove the experts wrong. The six patterns I will tie are a cross section of typical 'Irish Shrimp Flies' The one thing they have in common is they are all very successful catchers of salmon; some being especially good for spring salmon whilst others are good all rounders. I will explain more during the demonstration and I hope this will be of some help to you in learning to tie 'Irish Shrimp Flies'.

Notes: All these flies should be tied with long hackles in order that they have plenty of movement, built in as it were. I usually tie these flies on size 6, 8, or 10 Trebles, or on size 2, 4, 6 and 8 Doubles.

Lemon Shrimp Lemon Shrimp
Tag: Silver Oval Tinsel.
Tail: Golden Phesant Breast Feather. Red.
Rib: Silver Oval Tinsel.
Body: Rear Half; Yellow Seal's Fur. Front Half; Black Seal's Fur.
Hackles: Middle: Yellow. Front; Badger, Natural.
Wings/Eyes: Jungle Cock. (a pair).
Head: Red Varnish.
Orange & Gold Shrimp Orange & Gold Shrimp
Tag: Gold Oval Tinsel
Tail: Golden Phesant Breast Feather. Red.
Rib: Gold Oval Tinsel. Only front half of the body.
Body: Rear Half; Gold Oval Tinsel butted tightly together. Front Half; Black Seal's Fur.
Hackles: Middle; Hot Orange. Front; Badger. Natural.
Head: Black Varnish.
Purple & Yellow Shrimp Purple & Yellow Shrimp
Tag: Silver Oval Tinsel.
Tail: Golden Phesant Breast Feather. Red.
Rib: Silver Oval Tinsel.
Body: Rear Half; Golden Yellow Seal's Fur. Front Half; Purple Seal's Fur.
Hackles: Middle; Golden Yellow. Front; First, 3 or 4 turns Purple followed by a Badger, 2 or 3 turns.
Head: Red Varnish. Dark.
Ballina Grey Shrimp Ballina Grey Shrimp
Tag: Gold Oval Tinsel.
Tail: Golden Phesant Breast Feather. Red.
Rib: Bach Half Gold Oval Tinsel. Front Half Silver Oval Tinsel.
Body: Rear Half; Orange Floss Silk. Front Half; Blue Floss Silk. Medium Colour.
Hackles: Middle; Badger Hackle. Whitish in Colour. Front; Natural Grizzle Hackle.
Head: Black Varnish.
Apache Shrimp Apache Shrimp
Tag: Silver Oval Tinsel.
Tail: Golden Phesant Breast Feather. Red.
Rib: Silver Oval Tinsel.
Body: Rear Half; Yellow Seal's Fur. Front Half; Blood Red Seal's Fur.
Hackles: Middle; Yellow. Front; Red.
Head: Black Varnish.
Wye Bug Wye Bug
Tag: Gold Oval Tinsel.
Tail: Golden Phesant Breast Feather. Red.
Rib: Gold Oval Tinsel.
Body: Rear Half; Hot Orange Seal's Fur. Front Half; Black Seal's Fur.
Hackles: Middle; Hot Orange. Front; Natural Furnace/Rusty Brown.
Wings/Eyes: Jungle Cock. A Pair.
Head: Black Varnish.


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