The Dolly Llama came about approximately 10 years ago with the onslaught of the string leech revolution. It is a blend of two patterns which at the time were very popular in both Alaska and the lower 48. The "Double Bunny" craze was in full swing and the Cone head string leech was gaining popularity. I began messing around with combining these two patterns, but upsizing the cones to potentially eliminate having to you use split shot or a head. This was important for fishing ice out, particularly standing on ice shelves, sometimes 5–10 feet above the river level.
The pattern is by far and away the number one selling fly in Alaska, over taking the Egg sucking leech. Over time, it has now been copied by numerous other fly companies, all of which have added slight variation to the fly, mostly incorrect. If the articulation is not tied correctly the unfortunate "cutting" will cause the loss of the back end of the fly. The hook size is also an important topic, the hook itself has been downsized to eliminate fish mortality.
The secret of the fly is the weight of the cone proportioned to the length. In lay–mans terms, if you can get it in the water, it will fish itself. So even The Mayor could catch fish. In the long run, the Dolly Llama will produce with any species of predatory bite and strike fish. From steelhead, rainbows, browns, Bass, all species of salmon, it is the retailers most asked about and recommended pattern. The name came from a stage time in my life where I was reading a lot of Eastern religion and probably smoking too much dope because the lines I was repping only required about 45 minutes of work each week.