After a rain filled Autumn in which we did little fishing thanks to swollen rivers throughout most of the period, we did manage to sit down in front of Tim Flagler's camera and tie up a little known fly whose origins go back to before I was born. The Gallagher Special was first published in J. Edson Leonard's book, Flies, in 1950. This is the same man who originated the Dark and Light Edson Tiger streamers, that are better known than his other patterns. I was first introduced to the Gallagher Special several decades ago and it has been in my fly box ever since. Like most peacock-bodied patterns, this one produces well throughout the year.
There's no question there are other similar patterns out there and whether this one predates any of them is anyone's guess. All I know is that it is easy to tie, and it works great. I fish it by swinging it, and also dead-drift down deep.
Sharpen your hooks.
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