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Pattern Index

The Gartside Gurgler

by Jaiem Fleischmann

The Gartside Gurgler is an effective topwater pattern for a variety of gamefish, including striped bass, weakfish, bluefish, snook, jacks, and drum. It is designed to imitate the nervous scattering of baitfish as they hang near the water's surface. While normally fished at night, this fly can be very effective during daylight hours, as well. It is normally fished on a floating or Intermediate line, using a short, quick strip followed by a long pause. The pattern can also be tied in a variety of other colors such as white, black, red, and chartreuse..


  • Hook: Mustad 34007 Size 2/0
  • Tail: Yellow Bucktail
  • Body: Yellow Hackle
  • Throat: Red Hackle
  • Flash: Yellow Krystal Flash
  • Hood: Yellow Fly Foam
  • Thread: White
  • Misc: Head Cement


1. Place hook in vise and attach thread to shank near the bend.

2. Tie in a medium-size clump of yellow bucktail, allowing it to extend past the end of the hook for about 2 inches.

3. Tie in three or four strands of Krystal Flash along both sides of the bucktail.

4. Select two yellow hackles and remove the marabou fluff at the base.

5. Tie the hackles in by the stem to the hook shank just behind the bucktail.

6. Wrap the yellow hackles forward around the hook shank Palmer style approximately two-thirds of the length of the shank.

7. Select two red hackles and remove the marabou.

8. Tie in the red hackles by the stem to the shank in front of where the yellow hackles ended.

9. Wrap the red hackles forward around the shank, Palmer style, covering the rest of the hook shank to the hook eye.

10. Cut a length of yellow foam body approximately one-half wide and twice the length of the hook shank.

11. Trim one end of the foam to a short point. Place the foam, point forward, over the hackle behind the hook eye. Attach the foam by wrapping the pointed end to the shank. End with a few half-hitches and seal with head cement.

12. Re-attach the thread to the back of the hook between the bucktail and where the yellow hackles start.

13. Bring the foam over the top of the hackles. Don't worry about covering the hackles.

14. Secure the foam to the rear of the fly with several wraps. Be careful not to wrap over the hackle hairs.

15. Secure the wrap with several half-hitches and coat the thread with head cement.

16. Re-attach the thread again to the front of the hook behind the eye. Bring the foam back forward over itself (over the first layer of foam) and secure the end behind the hook eye with several half-hitches. Whip finish and coat with head cement.

17. Trim the end of the foam so it extends a little past the eye of the hook.

Jaiem Fleischmann is a professional tier whose patterns are available through his unique fly rodders' Internet website -- -- that also includes original angling art and books.


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