Tying a batch ‘o Gartside Gurglers

In the middle of Gurgler tying land, I noticed that I tend to render my bugs far sparser than most of the ones I see in bins. No surprise there — sparse is how I usually roll — but it’s also because I learned to tie them from Jack Gartside’s website. You can see how the pattern’s creator tied them here.

These ones below are just like the ones I use for smallmouth bass. They’re the same as Jack’s original recipe, save for the hook. Instead of a long shank, I’m using a Gamakatsu B10S stinger hook which is light, strong, and sticky sharp out of the box.

Gartside Gurglers lovingly rendered in white. I can’t say that color is critical, but I will choose different colors based on light level and water clarity, and sometimes for my own visual reference. It’s a high confidence pattern, and is often on everyone’s Top Ten list when it comes to topwater smallmouth flies.

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Hook: Gamakatsu B10S size 2
Thread: White UNI Monocord 3/0
Tail: Very sparse bucktail or marabou plumes overlaid with 5-6 strands of Flashabou or Krystal Flash
Body: Closed-cell foam with five evenly spaced segments. Foam should be 1/2″-5/8″ wide (this is 9/16″) and at least 1/8″ thick (this is 3mm)
Rib: Solid color or grizzly saddle palmered between segments
Carapace: Same foam as body pulled over and secured just behind the hook eye. Trim foam leaving an excess protruding about 1/2″ beyond eye.

 

 

Stand by for the ASGA’s position on ASFMC Draft Addendum VI

The ASGA (American Saltwater Guides Association — the good guys who are making an impact when it comes to striped bass conservation — and if you haven’t yet, visit their website/make a donation here) will have an official position on ASMFC Draft Addendum VI this week.

What’s important about this is that we — as conservation-minded anglers who care deeply about the future of the striped bass — will benefit greatly from showing a unified front, in particular in letter or email form

As soon as I have that position, I’ll let you know. Of course, if you’re signed up for ASGA email updates, you should hear from them too. Carry on, enjoy the last full week of August, but get ready to make your voice heard!

More breeder-size stripers need to swim away to procreate another day.

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Farmington River Sampling/Survivor Strain Broodstock Collection This Week

As I write this, the Farmington is chugging along at a low 120cfs or so within the permanent TMA. Cooler-than-normal temperatures have been a blessing during these extended low flows.

The MDC will be cutting the flow to double digits on Tuesday August 27-Thursday August 29 so that DEEP crews can sample the Farmington River and collect broodstock for the Survivor Strain program. (Here’s another nifty article on the Survivor Strain program, complete with elastomer color codes.) They will be focusing their attention on some popular pools and runs within the permanent TMA. You can still fish the river — you are merely asked to yield to the crews as they work. Better still, volunteer to work on  the crew — there’s no better way to discovery where the lunkers live! You can contact the DEEP here.

She’s a big mamma jamma. Just as fine as she can be. Not a Survivor Strain (note intact adipose) but a fine example of the potential of the Farmington River.

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A little Leisenring, a little Culton, a little North Country Spider

Soft hackles and wingless wets ready to swim. Clockwise from upper left: Pale Watery Dun, Grey Watchet, Old Blue Dun (and a random Partridge and Rusty Brown), Squirrel and Ginger, Pale Watery Wingless AKA Magic Fly.

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Fun at the “Striper Moon” film premier

All we needed last night was a red carpet to welcome all the fly fishing dignitaries at the Avon Cinema. Nah, it wasn’t anything like that: low key, relaxed, everyone welcome — just like Tuesday Nights with Ken. I enjoyed seeing some old and new friends, and reconnecting with people from fishing days past.

It’s the world premier of Striper Moon — A Legacy.

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The film? Nice job, Lorri Shankar. It’s not all about fishing — it’s about Ken the artist, the sculptor, the writer, the fly and rod designer, the angler, the man. Roughly an hour long, just the right length where it leaves you wanting a little more. The story is told through Ken’s self-narrative, and via interviews with an eclectic mix of characters from family members to old fishing buddies.

I do not know of any future distribution or DVD plans. If you have inquiries, please reach out to Lorri Shankar, director. You can find her on Facebook.

We talk just about every week, but I hadn’t seen Ken in a few years. He has a look and a style that simply commands your attention. Thanks, old friend, for teaching me about sparse flies and flatwings and floating lines and greased line swings and sticky sharp hooks and setting the hook and fighting fish and…

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Housy Mini Report 8/19/19: Low, slow, and small

A quick zip in/zip out (there have been a lot of those this summer) last night from 7:00pm-8:30. I hit three marks in the FFO section and it was tough going. First spot blank, second spot one pipsqueak, third spot nothing until the 8pm to dark slot. A couple on streamers, a half dozen then on White Wulffs (although the white fly hatch is kaput). No real size — biggest was 10″.

The mysteries of smallies on the Hous continue, as I have fished these marks in past years at the same height (200cfs) at the same time of year and same time frame and done gangbusters. This was by far the worst outing of the year in terms of size and numbers.

Where’d you go, bubba?

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Farmington River article in the Sept/Oct issue of Eastern Fly Fishing

Hot off the presses! “West Branch Farmington River — Southern New England’s Blue Ribbon Trout Stream” by yours truly is in the current (September/October) issue of Eastern Fly Fishing. Many thanks to UpCountry Sportfishing’s Torrey Collins and CT DEEP Fisheries Biologists Neal Hagstrom and Brian Eltz for lending their comments. If you don’t subscribe, you can get a copy on newsstands or you can check here.

It’s a privilege to able to write about the places that I love to fish. How fortunate we are to have the Farmington River so close to home.

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