Fishing in Ireland, fly tying, salmon fishing

A purple shrimp pattern

I have never really been happy with Purple Shrimp patterns. They also looked kinda ‘odd’ to me, especially those ones with badger hackles at the head. The mix of badger and purple hackles somehow did not look ‘right’. I can’t describe this really, it is more of a feeling than any scientific analysis. Purple has never given me more than an occasional salmon, all of them at the back-end and all of them (as far as I can remember anyway) were coloured. Other anglers swear by purple shrimps so they do work, just not when I tied them on to the end of my line. So I have tied this new pattern.

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My new Purple Shrimp

I used Opal Mirage for the rear body and purple floss for the front. An oval silver tag and rib were added too. The tail is made of a slim bunch of purple bucktail instead of the more normal wound GP body feather.A centre hackle of a doubled cock hackle dyed purple is wound at the joint of the body sections and a long fibred hen hackle dyed black is wound at the head. I used red tying silk and left that showing at the head. the example in the photos is tied on a size 10 single hook.

One for the back end

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Fishing in Ireland, salmon fishing, trout fishing

Clare River system

I am working in Tuam these days so it is highly likely I will try my luck on the Clare River and its tributaries this season. The Clare system has been seriously abused by successive governments since the middle of the 19th century, with devastating consequences for the local ecology. Here is an old article from Ecofactireland which gives some excellent information of the sorry tale of drainage on the Clare.

River Clare: A highly modified Natura 2000 river

It would be nice to say that in these more enlightened times the river is now safe from further dredging but that is simply not the case. The OPW has one cure for flooding – bring in the machines and get dredging! Of course we all know this only exacerbates the problems and increases flooding but the OPW don’t seem to care.

Despite the predations by humans there are still trout and salmon in the system. The Clare and its tributaries hold some excellent brown trout and many areas are very lightly fished. There used to be healthy runs of salmon but my information is that the last two seasons have been very poor for the silver lads. I will post any successes (and failures) through the season.

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