This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Dolly Llama Streamer.

Dolly Llama |

There is quite an interesting story about the origin of the Dolly Llama Streamer.

I use the Internet quite a bit when researching fly patterns to feature as a Throw Back Thursday Fly here on RiverKeeper Flies.

The Dolly Llama is no exception.

I found the most useful information from Mike Brown, the owner of Mossy’s Fly Shop in Anchorage, AK. He was featured on the Deneki Outdoors website where he wrote a great piece about how to tie the fly. It also stated the fly was developed by “Charlie Galt, a fly fishing industry legend”.

I searched the name “Charlie Gault”, but was unable to find anything.

I wanted to know more about the fly, so I did a little more searching and was able to find a contact page for Mike Brown. I wrote an email explaining what I was after and hoping he might provide more information about Charlie or the fly.

The reply I received made me smile.

Mike’s response provided additional information about the fly and the developer. Here’s what he wrote:

“The Dolly Llama is a fly created by a good friend of mine named REDACTEDREDACTED has never wanted to take credit for the fly, he designed it when he was working for Riverborn flies.  Back when he created it, we fished a double bunny fly a lot in Alaska, but he wanted something quicker and simpler to tie and something that was heavier, to get it down in log jams and cut banks quickly.  By removing the tear mender glue, used in a double bunny, gave the fly far more movement and articulation in the water.  This fly is by far the most popular fly in Alaska, over taking the Egg Sucking leech in monumental fashion.” (Note: REDACTED was added by me…Mike provided two initials)

OK, a fly tyer wants to remain anonymous, but what about the name “Charlie Gault”?

Mike continues…

“The reason for Charlie Gault being the reference.  REDACTED had watched the movie Atlas Shrugged, John Galt was the mystery guy in the movie/book.  Over time of us joking around about things, we started referencing to him as Charlie Gault (not sure how we adapted to that name) because he is always being a mystery about the fly.  When I decided to tie it for our Fish Alaska magazine tutorial I told him that I would reference Charlie Gault as the tyer, because I knew he didn’t want his name published.  So it really is meant to be a funny to protect the innocent.  LOL”

So there you have it!

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. Fantastic Alaskan fly, I’d bet every log/snag in the rivers of Alaska have Dolly Llamas stuck in them also. An angler should figure how many DL flies they need and double that amount, they would be pretty close to how many flies to take with. Recently had an experience in a north eastern Washington river where we were dry fly fishing and a local came down to the river below my buddy and chunked out a green white Dolly Llama and caught a big resident cutthroat almost immediately. Sort of put a damper on the dry fly strategy, but oh so effective.

  2. Once again you’ve inspired me to tie something new. John, I really love going back through your old posts too. So informative and such great photography! Just finished most of your Madison posts. Brought back a lot of memories of fishing with my dad and uncle. I was pretty young, and just learning some rudimentary fly fishing. That’s how I was hooked on fly fishing. You make these winters so much better!

  3. That story is hilarious. Never would have come up with a connection between Atlas Shrugged and fly fishing. Thanks for sharing.
    I just got a couple Dolly Llamas that I want to try in the Fall River. Are they effective in the Metolius?

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