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Unleash the Surface Action with the Gartside Gurgler Fly Pattern

Unleash the Surface Action with the Gartside Gurgler Fly Pattern

When it comes to topwater fly fishing, there are few patterns that rival the effectiveness and versatility of the Gartside Gurgler. This innovative fly pattern, was originally tied and developed by the renowned angler and fly tyer Jack Gartside.  It has gained popularity among fly fishermen around the world, with its enticing action and ability to imitate various prey.  Because of this the Gartside Gurgler has become a go-to choice for targeting species such as bass, trout, redfish, and more.

The History of the Gartside Gurgler:

The Gartside Gurgler was first introduced to the fly fishing community by Jack Gartside in the early 1990s. Gartside, being a passionate angler and fly tyer, developed this pattern to imitate the commotion often created by small baitfish, frog, shrimp, or even a mouse swimming on the water's surface. By incorporating buoyant materials and a unique design, Gartside created a fly that could generate enticing movements and trigger aggressive strikes from predatory fish.

Gartside Gurgler Tying Video


Materials List

Imitations and Versatility:

The Gartside Gurgler is designed to imitate a wide range of surface-dwelling prey, thus making it extremely versatile for various fishing scenarios. It can resemble struggling baitfish, mice, or even frogs, depending on the color and size of the fly. The pattern's distinguishing feature is the clipped and flared foam head, which creates a significant disturbance when retrieved across the water's surface. This action mimics the movements of a distressed prey and attracts the attention of nearby fish.

Target Species:

The Gartside Gurgler has proven effective for targeting a diverse array of species, including:

Bass: Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are known to aggressively attack Gartside Gurglers. The commotion caused by the fly triggers their predatory instincts, resulting in explosive surface strikes.

Trout: Whether targeting trout in rivers, streams, or stillwaters, the Gartside Gurgler can entice these fish to rise from deeper waters to feed on the surface. It's particularly effective during mayfly or caddis hatches.

Redfish: The Gartside Gurgler's ability to imitate shrimp, mullet, and other small forage makes it an excellent choice for targeting redfish in saltwater flats and estuaries. The fly's action draws attention from these hard-fighting fish, enticing them to strike.

Sizes and Variations:

Gartside Gurglers can be tied in various sizes to accommodate different conditions, situations, and target species. The sizes typically range from small (#8-#10) to larger sizes (#2-#4), and bigger as well. For bass and saltwater species, larger sizes are often preferred, while trout and panfish may respond well to smaller sizes. Tie it in different color combinations, including natural baitfish colors like white, olive, and brown, as well as brighter options for attracting attention.

Techniques for Fishing Gurgler Patterns:

To fish a Gartside Gurgler effectively, try the following techniques:

Cast and Retrieve: Make accurate casts near structures or areas where fish are likely to hold, and after the fly lands, pause for a  brief moment before starting a slow and steady retrieve. The retrieve should create a wake and produce popping or gurgling sounds, imitating a struggling prey item.

Pausing and Twitching: After retrieving the fly for a short distance, pause it momentarily to mimic a wounded or stunned prey item. Then, impart small twitches or jerks to create additional

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