1. The Cascade.
I know it’s used up and down the Scottish rivers.
I know it’s all superstition. I know what the ghillie
says about the fish having seen it so many times before.
Yet it has still hooked more salmon for me than any other
fly in the past two years.
2. Ally’s Shrimp.
Were it not for the Cascade, like this one also developed
by Alistair Gowans, I would say the same for his shrimp
pattern. Salmon love it when they’re in the mood.
3. Red Frances.
No Icelander would be without this fly. Another shrimp
pattern named after the woman who used to take the telephone
orders for its originator, the late Hampshire-based fisherman
and fly tier, Peter Dean.
4. Waddington, made to the Willie Gunn pattern.
Always keep one in your box. This caught my first salmon
on the fly.
5. Silver stoat’s tale.
Something to try when they don’t want the shrimp
1. Jock Scott
First made to please his lordship, Lord John Scott on the
river Tweed. Beautiful fly. Makes a lovely broach. Designed
to hook fishermen. Will catch the fish that takes anything.
Ugly Icelandic brute, catches fish but looks like one
of Bassett’s Liquorice All Sorts. Who wants to fish
with a sweetie?
With its pink hackle just a little bit too camp for me.
One for the ladies, perhaps.
4. The Spin Doctor
This favourite Russian fish-like deer hair fly is studded
with fins, just like a Devon minnow spinning lure. So is
it a fly? Not in my opinion.
5. Mortgage fly
OK I made this one up but it just about describes a lot
of the flies in shops today. Any fly that costs more than
£2 is daylight robbery. Buy direct from the Kenyans
who need our money.