Gurgling for Papio

Over the past few months, whenever I have had the opportunity, I have been fishing for the juvenile trevally. What I have noticed over time on the down side, the numbers have slightly decreased. However on the up side the fish have gotten progressively larger. To target these fish, I have been using one of the deadliest surface water flies I have come across called the gurgler.

The gurgler was originally designed by Jack Gartside over 20 years ago. Jack was one of the most innovative fly tiers of his time and got his first fly tying lesson in 1956 from baseball legend Ted Williams.

The key aspects I like about the gurgler are, it is easy to tie, easy to cast, and is a great top water pattern. In my experience I have fished poppers on many occasions. What I have found when fishing poppers is they can be bulky, wind resistance, and at times a pain in the butt to cast. Also for reasons I cannot explain I have not have had high hook up rates while fishing poppers. Not so with the gurgler.

The gurgler was designed with an upturned and extended foam lip, primarily to create lots of surface commotion. It is this commotion and noise that attracts predators to the fly as it is fished along the surface. Once the fly attracts the fish, the shape and the way the seductive way the fly swims will get the fish to bite.

The gurgler can be tied in different sizes and configurations to suit your fishing needs. Most recently I have been tying my gurglers on size #6 mustad shrimp hooks and fishing them on 6 wt rods. Since the fish are getting bigger I will need to upgrade them and tie them on bigger hooks.

The fly can be fished slowly by popping the fly down and letting it float back to the surface like a wounded baitfish. I think as the fly fluttering to the surface just drives the fish mad.

The fly can also be fished fast to make lots of disturbance on the surface that attracts predators from a long distance.

Whenever I can get a fish to attack the fly on the surface itís a blast no matter how small they may be.


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