Ally’s Shrimp Salmon Fly
Fly Tying

Ally’s Shrimp Salmon Fly

The Ally’s shrimp is one of the U.K’s most popular and successful patterns used to fish for salmon today. Designed by Alastair Gowans, a great and skilful salmon angler the fly has everything you want in a shrimp pattern. It has the right profile, movement and colour that you want.

The tying below is the original tying.

  • Hook: Singles, doubles or trebles to suit conditions.
  • Silk: Red 8/0
  • Tail: Orange Bucktail with four strands of pearl Krystal hair(optional).
  • Body: Tied in two halves. Rear red floss. Front black floss( I have used UTC 140 denier multi-strand thread in mine.
  • Rib: Fine gold oval tinsel.
  • Underwing: Natural squirrel Tail.
  • Wing: Golden Pheasant Tippets.
  • Collar Hackle: Hot Orange.
  • Head: Red

The example has been tied on a size 8 double. Firstly attach the silk to the hook with a jam knot.

Wind the silk down to the point in line with the hook point. Select a small amount of the orange bucktail hair and tie it on to the hook shank with the pinch and loop technique. The tail should be no longer than two and a half times the length of the hook shank.

The tail can be just tied in by winding down the silk in open turns but to ensure that the fly is tied as strongly as is possible I will show you how to tie the tail in using locking turns. Having attached the hair with a pinch and loop now fold back a few fibres with each consecutive turn.

Continue to work your way down the shank as shown.

When you reach the end of the shank work back the silk in open turns back down towards the tail securing the hair on top of the shank.

Provided that you have used good quality bucktail that is fine the tail will have been attached smoothly and will not over bulk the fly.

Now add the four strands of Krystal hair. Remember this is optional. I personally prefer to use micro Krystal Hair which is a lot finer and only uses 2 fibres.

Attach the ribbing material. Take the silk back to the eye end of the shank in open turns securing both the rib and the Krystal hair and tie it off with a two-turn whip finish.

This is my own system for creating this body. If you follow convention and tie on the body using silk floss then attach the floss with the tying silk and wind up the shank and then back to the silk and tie off. You then repeat the same for the front half of the body but exchange the red floss for black.

My way is to now use 140 denier red silk UTC tying floss. This is a flat multi-strand floss and I think allows for a smoother body.

Attach the red floss with a jam knot at the midpoint of the fly.

Take the floss up to the tail and then back to the centre of the hook shank. Then in open turns to the front half of the body. Attach the black floss silk with ajam knot and wind towards the centre of the shank tying in the red silk floss which when secured can be cut off.

Form the body and then secure the floss by tying on your tying silk at the head.

Take your natural grey squirrel tail and draw a few fibres downward so the points are even and remove with sharp scissors.

Tie in the underwings of squirrel tail both on top and below the hook shank. They should measure no longer than the hook itself.

Again I suggest securing the underwing with locking turns in the same way as the tail.

Cut the wast away. Select a few fibres of golden Pheasant Tippets and attach these as the wing. The black points of these fibres imitate the eye of the shrimp and should not go beyond the bend of the hook.

Remove the waste. Select a hot orange cock hackle where the fibres will stretch form the hook eye to the bend of the hook. Double this feather over so all the fibres are on the one side of the stem. Tie in by the tips with the fibres pointing down.

Wind the hackle on to form a collar in touching turns stroking the fibres back on each turn. Two to three turns will be plenty. Tie off the hackle.

Again stroke all the cock hackle fibres back and for a nice head. Whip finish and varnish and the job is done.

A great fly for the Usk.