When it comes to fly selection for inshore redfish the possibilities are endless. We’ve got kwans, sliders, spoons, strong arms....the list could go on forever. However, one of the most utilized flies in our boxes is the classic Gurgler. In all types of scenarios these flies are generally on the menu for any fish coming your way.
Let’s talk about presentation. What are we trying to imitate with this pattern? Some might say a wounded baitfish, or shrimp skipping the surface. Regardless of target prey species it’s the movement that sends these fish barreling down to aggressively inhale the fly. Subtle and consistent strips have provided the most consistent eats when fishing low and flood tides. I’ve also seen people use a more elongated drawn-out motion to really get the fishes attention. More often that not, it’s an erratic jerky motion that will send these fish running for the hills. There are also times where you’re in the zone, stripping properly and the fish will eyeball the fly and spook off. I’ve watched redfish flip gurglers into the air, basically giving me the middle finger before tearing off the fly. It's part of the game, and it's going to happen.
To wrap up, I’ve encountered many anglers who feel that lowlight periods or certain weather conditions mean it's go time for the gurg. The truth is that this fly is a game changer in your box. Throw it whenever, however, and as often as you’d like. It catches fish...period. I’ve landed fish midday with bluebird skies. Some flies stay around forever because they just work..and the infamous gurgler is no exception.
Written and Photography by Ty Duplaga
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