The Gurgler Step-by-Step

The Gurgler Step-by-Step

Few things in fishing compare to the rush of watching a fish take a fly on the surface. From rainbow trout sipping minute Trico spinners to aerobatic smallmouth exploding on poppers to bull reds rolling to gulp this post’s titular fly, there’s just something about watching the take that is simply beyond compare. For that reason, I’ve decided to start my Step-by-Step Tying series with a simple, but effective pattern that has caught everything from bluegill to bluefish: The Gurgler.

Created by the late Jack Gartside (a man taught to tie flies by baseball great, Ted Williams!), the Gurgler has undergone countless tweaks through the years and it seems every professional fly tyer now has their own variation or knock off. With the potential to mimic everything from injured baitfish to fleeing shrimp to pond hopping frogs, it’s no wonder so many have staked their claim on various iterations of this pattern. It simply works!

Gamakatsu SL11-3H (size 4) Ultra Thread 140 Denier Zonker Strip over Crystal Flash
Ice Chenile or Estaz 2-mm Craft Foam Craft Foam (hi-vis color)

Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

(Click images to enlarge)

Proof of Concept:

On a fine Monday morning in early April, I did my part to practice social distancing and ventured into the marshes of south Louisiana to give the above gurgler a trial run. I’m happy to report both speckled trout and redfish approved of this pattern (as did the bass and bluegill that evening closer to home).

Tight lines everyone!


Redfish (Jefferson Parish; 2020)

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