This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Galloup’s T & A Leech.
I stayed at Galloup’s Slide Inn last week during our 2017 fly fishing road trip and had the opportunity to talk with Kelly about a few of his early fly patterns. I told him about my RiverKeeper Flies Throw Back Thursday fly feature and he began telling me stories about how several of his flies were developed.
You might notice the sexual innuendo in the naming of his flies. He attributes this to what he called a “sick childhood”.
I asked what the T&A stood for and he responded “trout attractor” with a big grin. Or you could call it the “totally articulated”, he said. But I’m guessing it doesn’t stand for either of these!
Kelly stated this was one of the first articulated flies, developed in 1999. He had seen how well the Rapala lures worked catching fish with their articulated motion and an idea was hatched to emulate this motion…and the articulated fly was created. He really liked the idea of incorporating articulation in his flies, because he hoped to increase the hook-up rate of his streamers. His theory is many big fish hit the head of a fly from the side and using a single long-shank hook missed many fish. He told me stories of trying to lash a shorter shank hook on something like a 10x Carrie Stevens hook to solve this problem, but alas, it didn’t work very well.
The first Galloup T & A Leech was tied with yellow marabou, but you can see from this picture of flies at the fly shop he carries them in white, olive, black, and tan. There’s also a version tied with a cone head for more weight.
If you check out Galloup’s T & A Leech on his website, you’ll find this quote: “The T&A leech is one of my favorite leech patterns, but it is also one of my favorite general attractor patterns as well. I primarily fish this fly in rivers, but it has quickly become one of my go-to articulated streamers for fishing lakes.”
Kelly is the author of Cripples and Spinners (2001) and co-author of Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout (2004) with Bob Linsenman.
Kelly is a stickler for detail and has developed a well-earned reputation for quality flies. If you are a streamer fly fisher, be sure to purchase some of his flies at Galloup’s Slide Inn.
Be sure to check out Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, a previous Throw Back Thursday Fly for another one of his streamers.