My favourite Irish Shrimp flies

Jockiescott

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I recently did a blog post on Irish Shrimp flies.

It started out as me recommending 10 flies for summer and autumn but became my top 10 instead.

Maybe one or two on here might find it interesting enough to read! 😊

 

iainmortimer

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I recently did a blog post on Irish Shrimp flies.

It started out as me recommending 10 flies for summer and autumn but became my top 10 instead.

Maybe one or two on here might find it interesting enough to read! 😊


...and there was me certain the Curry's red would be No1!
 

Hemmy

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Great blog/post….,, Very informative……thanks for taking the time and effort
 

uskgrub

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I recently did a blog post on Irish Shrimp flies.

It started out as me recommending 10 flies for summer and autumn but became my top 10 instead.

Maybe one or two on here might find it interesting enough to read! 😊

I really enjoyed reading that, thanks. Will have to try a few of your top 10 ;)(y)
 

Woodsy

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Great reading that! Haven't tied an Irish shrimp in a few months but that has given me the itch. Will have to tie up a few for when the rain comes 👍
 

Jockiescott

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Thanks woodsy! 👍

My shed is hotter than a Swedish sauna at the minute and I can't sit in it to tie a fly. 🥵

So if I can't tie them, I may as well write about them. 😂

Glad you enjoyed it and hopefully you'll post a few of your creations on the forum! 🙂
 

Scierra

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What makes them all Irish Sshrimp flies ? Golden Pheasant Spears ?
The Wilkinson Shrimp, pink and blue go well

My fav Shrimp fly in the 70/80's and top catcher too was The Black Shrimp , maybe a variant ? with the red GP spears not black, and no JC it also had Red Ibis tied in both sides alongside the middle body badger hackle ,

Ibis is not available any more , substitute only .
 
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Jockiescott

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What makes them all Irish Sshrimp flies ? Golden Pheasant Spears ?
The Wilkinson Shrimp, pink and blue go well

My fav Shrimp fly in the 70/80's and top catcher too was The Black Shrimp , maybe a variant ? with the red GP spears not black, and no JC it also had Red Ibis tied in both sides alongside the middle body badger hackle ,

Ibis is not available any more , substitute only .

From what I've read and understand, this style of fly actually originated on the Welsh/English borders on the Usk and the Wye but were called bugs or grubs. Two very early patterns that had this style of tying, with a long tail hackle and two shorter hackles on the body, were the Usk grub and Wye bug.

I suspect, though I have no way of finding out, that wealthy visitors to Northern Ireland were guided by Pat Curry of Coleraine who saw these flies and decided to tie his own version. The Curry’s Red shrimp became extremely popular and successful locally and people started putting their own twists on things and a whole raft of these types of flies were being tied in Ireland.

Northern Ireland was an important part of the world during the Second World War and there are stories of these types of flies being taken back to Canada and America on Navy boats, submarines and troop transports.

Who actually coined the term, 'Irish Shrimp', we'll probably never know but it could be something the likes of Veniards came up with for their fly books. Who knows.

They are very successful fly patterns though and I think that is the main thing. 🙂
 

reelit1

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I recently did a blog post on Irish Shrimp flies.

It started out as me recommending 10 flies for summer and autumn but became my top 10 instead.

Maybe one or two on here might find it interesting enough to read! 😊

The Apache shrimp is not Irish but a copy of the Marrel Shrimp invented in Scotland to fish in Low water to fish the Helmsdale river.
 

Jockiescott

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The Apache shrimp is not Irish but a copy of the Marrel Shrimp invented in Scotland to fish in Low water to fish the Helmsdale river.

There is very little truly original in fly tying. It is more than likely to be nothing more than sheer coincidence that two people, in two different nations, put red and yellow flosses and hackles together without even knowing the other existed.

It was Bert Atkins who introduced the pattern here along with many others.
 

reelit1

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There is very little truly original in fly tying. It is more than likely to be nothing more than sheer coincidence that two people, in two different nations, put red and yellow flosses and hackles together without even knowing the other existed.

It was Bert Atkins who introduced the pattern here along with many others.
Where are you ?
 

Jockiescott

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I live in Caithness on the North Coast of Scotland and tied the Marrel shrimp in 1973-74 specifically for fishing the Helmsdale River in low difficult conditions most if not all were tied on LW size !0 Partridge singles.

Bert Atkins introduced a raft of shrimp flies to the Agivey and Bann System before they became popular elsewhere after Peter O'Reilly had his book published.

A lot of his Bert's flies were based on popular winged patterns of the time. I heard that he based the Apache on the Major's Red winged fly. If that is true then I would suspect that what we know as an Apache today would be very different to one of Bert's originals.

The Major's Red used a colour I've never heard of on any other fly pattern and I've never seen one in the flesh to get an idea of the shade or colour. That colour was 'Golden Red'. If the Apache was meant to use golden red then what we know as an Apache today is very different.

It may be that Atkins' Apache was manipulated to suit modern day materials for Peter O'Reilly's book and what I now know as Apache, because of the book, was never an Apache at all.
 

reelit1

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I have produced just a handful of patterns that have been successful on the Thurso river and give a half a dozen to Eddie McCarthy when a pattern proves fruitful on the Thurso as in a way his grandfather got my interest going in tying flies when he gave my father a set of shrimp flies that he used on the Thurso when he was the River Superintendent on the Thurso River. Tying flies for me was a hobby one I studied a lot, which patterns suited certain conditions and certain rivers because of the colour of the water and the colour of the river bed and trying different combinations until I got a fly that worked, most flies will work but your always searching for a better fly when you can tie what your looking for in a fly, I do a lot of drawing of flies before I tie up a new fly and then experiment to see if it works, sometimes you hit it lucky others not so good or useless, my main fly boxes have a lot of patterns that nobody else has but they have had varying success under varying conditions, I enjoy that side of things when it all comes right. I have heard of the story of the Major's Red before.
 

Jockiescott

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I have produced just a handful of patterns that have been successful on the Thurso river and give a half a dozen to Eddie McCarthy when a pattern proves fruitful on the Thurso as in a way his grandfather got my interest going in tying flies when he gave my father a set of shrimp flies that he used on the Thurso when he was the River Superintendent on the Thurso River. Tying flies for me was a hobby one I studied a lot, which patterns suited certain conditions and certain rivers because of the colour of the water and the colour of the river bed and trying different combinations until I got a fly that worked, most flies will work but your always searching for a better fly when you can tie what your looking for in a fly, I do a lot of drawing of flies before I tie up a new fly and then experiment to see if it works, sometimes you hit it lucky others not so good or useless, my main fly boxes have a lot of patterns that nobody else has but they have had varying success under varying conditions, I enjoy that side of things when it all comes right. I have heard of the story of the Major's Red before.

While I wrote that blog about my favourite shrimp 'patterns', I too have a few flies in my box that I put together but not shown to anyone else. Particularly my low water flies.

I don't tie flies to seek fame or hunt glory. I've never sold a fly in my life. I love the flies and the story behind them. I had not heard of the Marrel Shrimp until you mentioned it but I would doubt if Bert Atkins had saw it either.

There are plenty of flies that appear on the forum that are almost identical to a few of those flies in my box that I've kept to myself.

There are flies people put on the forum claiming to have invented that are almost identical to some named fly in Chris Mann's book. That is fly tying.

I mean no disrespect to you but I can only write things from the knowledge and sources that I have myself. I only saw the red and yellow fly when I first got O'Reilly's book in the late 1990's and am only hearing of the Marrel Shrimp now.
 
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