Video: How to Tie the Gallagher Special

The Gallagher Special is a bit of a mystery. In this great video from Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, he calls it a secret pattern. I Googled the crap out of it and only found a few references, all from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, going back more than ten years. One forum post describes an “old timer” giving an angler a couple Gallagher Specials on the stream. So just how long this has been a secret is anyone’s guess. What everyone seems to agree on is that it works on trout.

In the video, author and blogger Matt Grobert shows just how easy it is to create a Gallagher Special. The real secret is in how you handle the hackles and the herl to ensure that everything comes out just right.

          Gallagher Special
          Hook: 3X-heavy, 2X-long nymph hook (here a Mustad S82-3906B), size 14.
          Thread: Black 6/0 or 140-denier.
          Tail: Furnace hackle fibers.
          Rib: Gold wire, fine.
          Body: 2 peacock herls.
          Hackle: Furnace.
          Head: Black tying thread.

12 thoughts on “Video: How to Tie the Gallagher Special”

  1. Phil,

    The pattern was first published in J. Edson Leonard’s book “Flies” in 1950. Several decades ago a bunch of old-timers introduced me to the pattern and made me swear to to keep it secret, “or else.” I’ve been fishing it ever since with good success, with and without a gold bead head. Best, Matt.

    1. Hey Matt,
      That almost looks like a Yorkshire/North Country Spider from the late 1800’s
      known as a Smoke Fly. Some guy on the Beaverkill name Rube Cross tied something
      similar to what Leonard published too.
      Nicely done, Matt.

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