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.


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.



8 comments on “Tying a batch ‘o Gartside Gurglers

  1. Will K says:

    Gurglers are AWESOME, as are most Gartside flies. Those are gorgeous Steve, smallies, or perhaps a striped bass or two, would love those things!

  2. John Pavao says:

    a friend of mine ties a variation on the gurgler- smallies and largemouth just crush it.
    as an experiment- I was fishing for largemouth and started with a taps popper- it was eaten but not enough. switch to the gurgler- couldnt keep them off it . great bug.

  3. Bill Giokas says:

    Steve just got back from Alaska and a Pink Gurgler was the hot top water fly for Silver Salmon.

  4. Bill Giokas says:

    Yes Pink is the magic color. No one fished anything else. You have to make the trip to fish for
    Silvers. Then there are the kings which is another story. Bill

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