On the Spot: Streamer Guru Kelly Galloup

The more you listen to Kelly Galloup talk about fly fishing, the more your perspective on this sport is apt to change. Kelly often explains that as trout grow in size, they morph from timid bug-sipping creatures to river predators. They need protein to survive, and the way to catch big trout is to "make your fly a meal."

Kelly, who owns the Slide Inn on Montana's Madison River is one of the foremost authorities on streamer fishing in the world, and the developer of some of the most, well, colorful (and effective) streamer patterns on the planet, like the "Zoo Cougar" (included in Field & Stream's "Encyclopedia of Bait"), the "Boogie Man" and of course, the "Sex Dungeon."

If you want to get really good at streamer fishing, you might want to enroll in one of Kelly's three-day streamer schools this fall. Otherwise, check out what he had to say when we put him "On the Spot" with these questions:

FlyTalk: What's the one fish that you haven't caught on a streamer that tops your bucket list.

Galloup: The golden dorado. From what I hear, they are the ultimate streamer-eating fish in the world. They attack flies, and are really tough fighters.

FlyTalk: Of all the flies you've created, what is the one that you think has changed the streamer fishing paradigm the most?

Galloup: The Sex Dungeon. I think that fly has produced more big fish than just about any other pattern. If you want to go large, that's the pattern. And it's also versatile. Different colors imitate different things (like baitfish, crayfish, etc.).

FlyTalk: What's the one fly pattern that you did not create, but wish you had?

Galloup: The Circus Peanut. Russ Madden created that fly when he was working for me, when I was back in Traverse City, Michigan. I think that might be the best all-around streamer on the planet.

FlyTalk: What are your fishing goals for 2012?

Galloup: I want to hit two rivers in Montana I have never fished before. And I want to catch a 40-inch bull trout.
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FlyTalk:** What's the biggest mistake people make when they fish streamers?

Galloup: They don't fish with a sense of urgency. You can't throw a cast and hope. Streamer fishing doesn't happen that way. You have to make the action happen.