Good morning from a dry and cool Foxford. My apologies for no blog last week, once again life got in the way and when life decides to get in the way there’s not much we can do. Anyway, its time to get back on track with the blog and start preparing for the new fishing Season. The first Salmon of the season was caught on the Drowse. I only saw a picture on Facebook but it looked like a beautiful fish. Hopefully there’s already the occasional fish making their way up the Moy as well. Certainly, a fair number of Kelts heading down. Water levels are high but its not over the banks or anything. Let’s see what happens over the next ten days. For today, here’s another fly pattern to have in the box.
The Wilkinson Shrimp.
A firm favourite with Moy anglers this fly works throughout the season but especially well in the early part of the year and into mid-summer. The first time I ever saw this fly was when I was given one by a visiting Northern angler sometime in the mid-80s. It was dressed on a small single salmon hook. He told me it was a very good salmon pattern and advised I should also try it for sea trout, which I was very happy to do. At that time, we were catching a lot of sea trout in Foxford and were always looking for new “Deadly” patterns. I did try it and found it worked very well for sea trout and especially in the early morning. It was a good while after before I used it for Salmon and to be honest it took a while for me to get fond of it. My change of attitude towards it came during a dry hot summer. The river was very low and the fish were hard to tempt. One day out of frustration I gave it a try, the sun was beating down and the water was like a mirror. I can’t say whether it was the pattern or had the fish just had enough of life but a salmon took it. It was enough to give me confidence in the Wilkinson and I carried on using it. Over the years since that it has become a “go to” fly for me in tough conditions, a bright day, a sulky fish or when they have refused everything else its certainly worth a try.
Hook: Esmond Drury size 8 to 14
Tag: Oval Silver tinsel
Tail: Golden pheasant Red breast feather
Rear Body: Silver tinsel
Rear Body Rib: Fine Oval Silver
Mid Hackle: Magenta cock saddle
Front Body: Silver tinsel
Front Body Rib: Fine Oval Silver
Wings: Jungle cock roofed
Front Hackle: Kingfisher or Cambridge Blue cock saddle