The Ross Macdonald Collection


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Great flies. I was hoping to tie some Calvin shrimps, but have not been able to source any arctic runner. Can anyone indicate where I can buy some or suggest an alternative material. Thanks

Sean Stanton does some very good Artic Runner. Try his web shop You get a good sized piece for your money too.


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Inspired by the cracking thread - The Black Arts by Dr.Patrick recently, I thought I’d do something similar with the patterns created by Ross MacDonald. For those of you who don’t follow the Tie of the Month threads, I’m a big fan of his tying and my fly boxes are never without one or two of his patterns in them.

His style is something I always try to emulate when tying his patterns but I can never quite get them to look the way he does. Despite this, my versions work well enough so I can’t really complain in that respect.

First up and arguably the most famous pattern Ross has created is the Park Shrimp. Tried and tested on the famous River Dee beat that it shares its name with, this pattern accounts for a lot of fish each season. Equally effective whether dressed on a tube or a hook it is always worth a swim.

View attachment 49173

Tag: Oval gold tinsel
Tail: Yellow arctic runner sandwiched in between to shorter lengths of Orange with some gold angle hair mixed in
Butt: Gold lite bright dubbed on
Rib: Pearl mylar
Body: Black seal fur
Wing: Black runner or fox Jungle cock cheek
Hackle: Orange badger over yellow cock hackle

Next up is the deadly Calvin Shrimp. This pattern has a huge following and is one not to do without, especially on the Tyne and spate rivers in Ireland.

View attachment 49174

Tag: Oval gold
Tail: Red runner, orange runner (long), pink runner
Rib: Oval gold
Body: Red seal fur
Wing: Orange runner or fox jungle cock cheeks
Hackle: Red badger over orange cock hackle
Head: Orange

The Lochy Shrimp is a pattern that has all the elements associated with clear water and grilse! Blue, Yellow and Silver are a sure fire winner when it comes to tying a fly that summer salmon can’t resist.

View attachment 49177

Tag: Oval silver
Tail: Black runner with yellow runner on top
Rib: Oval silver
Body: Silver lite brite dubbing
Hackle: Blue badger
Jungle cock cheeks
Head: Red

Mairi’s Shrimp is probably my favourite pattern of the bunch. I love the subtle claret colour with the hint of a dull yellow for the wing. This pattern has served me well over the years and is excellent when the river is carrying a peat stain.

View attachment 49179

Tag: Oval gold
Tail: Claret buck tail
Butt: Gold dubbing
Rib: Oval gold
Body: Claret seal fur
Wing: Yellow fox
Hackle: Claret cock hackle
Jungle cock cheeks
Head: Red

Next up is Maggie’s Shrimp. Another pattern derived from the banks of Aberdeenshire River Dee. This is another fly that works well tied on a tube for early season fishing in February and March.

View attachment 49180

Tag: Oval silver
Tail: Yellow runner, black runner, yellow runner
Butt: Silver lite brite dubbing
Rib: Pearl Mylar
Body: Black seal fur
Wing: Black runner or fox with jungle cheeks
Hackle: Yellow cock

Last, but certainly not least is one of the lesser known patterns from the Ross MacDonald stable - Heather’s Shrimp. The concept of his shrimp flies are very similar and this one is no different. The Black and Chartreuse colour combo with the silver lite brite butt is great for spring fishing and I prefer this on tied on tubes. However, I’ve kept the theme going by tying this on a #9 Salar Double as I think this style of hook lends itself very well to his patterns. I just find flies don’t have the same look when tied on a hook with a straighter shank. Maybe it’s just me?

View attachment 49181

Tag: Oval silver
Tail: Black runner, chartreuse runner, black runner
Butt: Silver lite brite dubbing
Rib: Pearl mylar
Body: Black dubbing
Wing: Black runner or fox
Hackle: Chartreuse badger (used on original)
Jungle cock cheeks
Head: Black

A group shot of all 6 patterns together. I am not the best at photographing flies with just a phone to do it with but hopefully I’ve managed to do these deadly patterns some kind of justice with my tying of them.

View attachment 49184
Crackers Perrypoker 👍