How to Tie the Gallagher Special

Producer: Tim Flagler

“This tidy little pattern is called the Gallagher Special. It’s not all that well known, but in the Northeast United States it’s been quietly proving itself for decades. Here, author, fly tier and blogger Matt Grobert is going to tie one on a size 14 Mustad 3906B nymph hook. Matt begins by mashing the hook barb in the jaws of his tying vise and then gets the hook firmly secured.

For thread, he’s loaded a bobbin with a spool of black 6/0 Danville. Get your thread started on the hook shank leaving a full eye-length space behind the hook eye. Take a few wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag. Continue taking thread wraps to just behind the hook point.

For hackle, Matt selects a single feather from a furnace neck. On one side of the feather, pull the fibers down roughly perpendicular to the stem then strip a dozen or so off. By aligning the stripped-off butt ends, you’ll also align the tips. Measure to form a tail about a hook shank in length, then transfer that measurement rearward to the tie-in point. Take wraps of tying thread to secure the fibers to the top of the hook shank, all the way back to the start of the bend. Then take wraps forward to approximately the 1/3 point on the shank.

Fine gold wire is used to rib and reinforce the body of the fly, an 8” length is enough for numerous flies. Secure the wire to the underside of the hook, all the way back to the base of the tail then return your tying thread to the original tie-in point.”