Gary’s Gremlin – Gary McClain

Gary's Gremlin

Gary’s Gremlin

I have just returned from the Great Lakes Council Fly Tying Expo, as I’m sure you are aware from my previous posts. More to come on that later. However, while I was there a friend of mine and the nephew of a legendary fly tyer and fly fisherman from Grayling, Michigan, paid me a visit. Gary McClain is the nephew of Jerry McClain who created McClain’s Drake, a classic Michigan dry fly that I’ve posted about before on FrankenFly. These days Gary works for Cabela’s.

Gary brought me some gifts. One was a piece of sweater that Jerry used when he first made the McClain’s Drake. So cool! The other was a fly that Gary himself had created and was showing and telling about it for the first time. For the body of this fly, Gary used the same Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky Walnut yarn that we now use for the McClain’s Drake. Brilliant!
NOTE: Why do I say “brilliant,” you might ask. Well, the McClain’s Drake using this type of body is definitely known to catch fish. Gate’s Au Sable Lodge just ordered some from me to keep in stock. A guy that stopped at my table at the show said he tied some up from when I posted about it before, went to Montana and it caught fish all day long. Jerry Regan, a well known fly tyer from Grayling also uses the pattern with great success. So Gary using this body type following in his Uncle’s footsteps, knew what he was doing.

This is an all purpose fly. Gary starts the season with size 16’s… gradually increases size to 8’s by late August and has even been known to tie in some rubber legs when it’s time for hopper season. Gary cautions to use 3X or heavier tippet because if you use smaller than that it may twist your line. But Gary expresses this to be a real fish catcher!

Material List:

Hook: 3XL dry fly
Tail & Back Wing: medium brown calf tail
Body: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky Walnut yarn
Hackle: 5 or 6 turns of grizzly and Coachman brown rooster hackle

I want to thank Gary for letting me post this here on FrankenFly. This is one of these patterns that some fishermen will keep hush hush and not tell anyone about. If he wanted to keep it a secret, I would have absolutely honored that. But he was fine with me posting it. I plan to tie some up myself!


Filed under Michigan, Trout flies

2 Responses to Gary’s Gremlin – Gary McClain

  1. Ben

    First off, awesome site, great work! I’m am extremely new to fly tyin and was wondering how to utilize the wool in the body. Do you simply wrap it or use it to dub the thread? Thanks!

    • Paul Beel

      Thanks Ben, I’m glad you find the site worth while!
      You would just simply wrap the yarn around the hook. I usually use one strand from the yarn and start wrapping.
      Let me know if I can help any further.