Thread Head’s Fly Box Galloup Double Feature

by Brandon Dwyer

In honor of our esteemed guest speaker this month we will be looking at a couple Kelly Galloup flies.  

Pearl Necklace - Streamer

So…what’s with the name? Big ZZ Top fan? Jewelry guy? (if you really want to know, go back and read last month’s WestSlope Chapter Newsletter… link)

As for explaining the fishy appeal of this very bright, very flashy, fly I think that I have a good analogy to get the job done.  And for those of you that have owned a cat or a dog, you are going to know exactly what I’m about to describe. 

Picture this.  It’s a Saturday.  Mid-morning.  It’s winter.  A bright day.  Maybe too cold to fish.  You are dressed and anticipating a trip out for a late breakfast.  Your stomach is rumbling a bit, and you are a little antsy to get it filled.  However, you are also waiting for your significant other to finish getting ready, so you are patiently sitting on the couch, near the window, and have decided that reading the newspaper will be a good way to pass the time and perhaps distract your stomach for a while.  As you digest the headlines, in the background your dog nervously clicks its paws along the floor, pacing nervously, tracking something across the wall in the living room, and it continues to do this every time you turn the page and settle into the next pane of articles.  At first you don’t notice it (dogs are always messing about with their own games).  But then, you hear a little whine from your canine companion, and it gets your attention.  When you peel down the top edge of the paper to peer at Fido, you see his head whip up to the ceiling, again fixated, and tracking something moving up there.  That is when it dawns on you.  Your pooch is intently following the glowing orb cast onto the ceiling from the reflection of your wristwatch. 


Now, if you are as immature as I am, you set the paper down and begin carefully manipulating your wrist watch (maybe even begin using both hands for more precise control) calculating your light source, before completing a few test simulations over the top of the wall and ceiling, all the while gaging your dog’s reaction.  Then when you have the reflection mechanics figured out, you plan a route while stimulating your dog’s killer instinct, before you finally try and run your furry little critter smack dab into the wall or some furniture.  (All done for a good laugh and a harmless lesson for your little hunter)

If you are perhaps less sophomoric than me, you might allow your dog to enjoy this game of chase before finally calling them off and handing them a few heavy pets and ear scratches before getting back to the paper (maybe even moving out of the light, so as not to provoke them any further). 

I don’t know of the existence of any scientific proof to back this up, but this “wrist watch reflection response” (say that five times fast) that your canine friend exhibits when tracking a reflection is always what I imagine whenever I’m tying on an insanely bright streamer like the Pearl Necklace.  And, more often than not, the trout behave similarly to your dog in the living room, wanting nothing more than to smack the life out of that foreign light source bouncing above their head.

Tie one up today, see links for recipe & how to  or


The Found Link – Dry Fly

You have heard the saying before: sometimes less is more…


When tying flies, or creating flies, innovation rarely relies on “less.”  Though numerous steps and materials can add to the enjoyment of tying a fly, testing the tier’s abilities and creativity.  But when it comes down to it, the extra materials and steps are often superfluous.

The name for Kelly Galloup’s fly pattern “The Found Link”, I’m guessing (based on its name) has its origins in a very popular fly pattern tied by Mike Mercer called “The Missing Link.”  Mercer’s pattern uses a tail-less thread body, some flash ribbing, x wrapped poly yarn, and the tilted deer/elk hair wing that is very prominent on this style of fly.  But in the final step of Mercer’s pattern he calls for a few sparse wraps of hackle UNDERNEATH the tilted wing and OVER THE TOP of the x-wrapped poly yarn.  Needless to say this “materials sandwich” takes a delicate touch and a master’s degree in material control.  As those stiff hackle barbules bend around the deer hair “post,” they love to grab the filaments of sticky poly yarn and tend to splay the stray elk hair fibers in the direction you are wrapping.  This can all result in an untidy package with an unclear separation of underwing, middle wing, and over wing. 

The “genus” for the tilt wing style of fly such as the Found Link and the Missing Link, can trace its lineage back to the Ralph Cutter’s EC Caddis and before that some of the famous large drake and Hexiginia patterns from the upper Midwest and eastern United States.  

The Found Link uses the “pontoon” body of deer hair popular in the old time Hexigenia patterns, and also includes a helping of poly yarn (similar to the Missing Link) but omits the wrapped hackle on the tilt wing like the EC Caddis & Missing Link.  The result is a very versatile fly pattern that you can tie in sizes to match any mayfly in existence, and if you simply clip the deer hair tail off when you are on the water you have a great and effective adult caddis pattern as well.  (This makes a great fly to have in your box during March Brown/Mother’s day Caddis season because it can pass for both with one nip from your line clippers, no retying needed!)

In addition to its versatility, the Found Link, with it’s omission of dry fly hackle, is also a very inexpensive fly to tie as it really only uses 3 inexpensive and widely available materials (thread, deer hair, and poly yarn) and the advanced technique of pontoon deer hair body can also be substituted for your favorite dubbing. 

Because of the Found Link’s versatility, cost effectiveness, and fishability, this fly easily earns the label of “guide fly” as once the materials are prepped, and body technique/proportions are mastered you can whip up a fly box full (or more) in short order.


Recipe: Found Link (March Brown)

Hook – Standard nymph or dry fly hook size 12-16 (the U-Series from Umpqua are a great fit for filling a fly box)

Thread – UTC 70 in brown

Tail (optional) - 2-3 pheasant tail fibers or moose mane fibers extending a shank length past the bend

Body/Tail – Pontooned natural colored Deer or Elk hair, cross wrapped down and back pontoon body

Under wing – Poly Yarn like Zelon or EP Trigger Point or straight up poly yarn in any wing color (grey, dun, white)

Over Wing – Stacked Deer or Elk hair


Purchase one at your local fly shop.

The Missoulian Angler

The Grizzly Hackle

Blackfoot River Outfitters

Kingfisher Fly Shop

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