Foam Lady Bug
Flies With a Story

The Flytier:

Fly Tied By: Ed Gallop
Story By: Ed Gallop
Home: Stuart, Virginia
Web site:
Ed grew up fishing Virginia's eastern lakes and spent a number of years working and fishing in Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin, before resettling in Virginia, where he now fishes for native brook trout in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Now retired, Ed breeds chickens and ornamental pheasants, keeps bees, and works on his wonderful Web site.


The Fly:


Hook: Size 10 or 12, short shank dry fly hook
Thread: Black, 6/0
Body: Peacock herl
Hackle: Dark hackle palmered over peacock herl and trimmed as shown
Shell: White foam colored with permanent markers

Note: Lay a bead of cement on the inside of the foam before folding over the underbody.  If you decide to coat with epoxy or other coating be sure to allow the  ink to dry completely first.

The Story:

The Rookie Beetle

One day I was training a rookie police officer who was interested in fly-fishing. The conversation got the best of me so we took a long lunch on a lake one day, after stopping by my home for my rod and fly box. I let the rookie know not to tell anyone because they wouldn't understand.

lady bug-100-90p.jpg

When we signed off at the lake I handed the rookie the rod and chose a foam beetle pattern. He insisted he knew how to tie it on, so I let him. My clippers were on my vest at home so he tried to bite off the tag end of the tippet. There was tension on the rod and his fingers slipped, driving the fly deep into his upper lip.

We cut the lunch short (only 5 minutes into it) and signed back on duty, saying we were enroute to my doctor's office. As we arrived there, our supervisor showed up wondering why we broke from lunch to visit the doctor. So did one of my fishing buddies in another police car. I told the rookie to stay in the car, keep the beetle covered, and I would take care of it.

I quickly got out of the car and intercepted the supervisor, explaining that I needed a prescription refilled for my ulcer (which was true) and had to do it before I ate (which was a lie). About that time my fishing buddy cracked up, getting the supervisor's attention. He had approached the rookie from the other side, noticed his hand over his mouth, and asked what he was hiding. We were nailed.

The supervisor had a Polaroid camera and made me pose next to the rookie, with my rod. He also took some close ups of the beetle, blood and all, before allowing the doctor to remove it. The pictures were displayed in the squad room with a caption, "Gallop keeps his Rookie in Line," among other things. Every time an officer would look at the rookie, with his goose egg lip, they would crack up. Hell... I had a hard time looking at him, too.

--Ed Gallop


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