Topwater Thrills: Catch Explosive Strikes with the Gurgler

Topwater Thrills: Catch Explosive Strikes with the Gurgler | Jackson Hole Fly Company

Welcome back to our Fly of the Month series at Jackson Hole Fly Company! Summer is in full swing, and what better way to celebrate than by chasing topwater strikes with one of the most exciting patterns around? This July, we're thrilled to feature the Gurgler, a versatile and effective topwater fly that has been a favorite among fly anglers for years. Whether you're casting in freshwater or saltwater, the Gurgler delivers explosive action and unforgettable fishing experiences. Let's dive into its history, usage, and some of the cool variations we offer, including the specialized Gurgler Saw and Gurgler Saw Frog patterns.

History of the Gurgler

The Gurgler was originally developed by Jack Gartside, a renowned fly tyer and innovator. Gartside designed the Gurgler to be a simple yet highly effective topwater fly. Its distinctive feature is the foam body and extended lip, which create a unique popping and gurgling action on the water's surface. This action mimics struggling prey, making it irresistible to a variety of fish species.

Target Species

The Gurgler is incredibly versatile and can be used to target numerous species, including:

  • Bass: Both largemouth and smallmouth bass find the Gurgler's surface commotion irresistible.
  • Pike: The Gurgler's durability and action make it a great choice for pike fishing.
  • Saltwater Species: Striped bass, redfish, and sea trout are just a few of the saltwater species that respond well to the Gurgler.
  • Trout: While not as commonly used, the Gurgler can be effective for trout, especially in lakes or during terrestrial insect hatches.

Why July is Perfect for Bass Fishing with the Gurgler

July is one of the best times to target bass with a fly rod. During the hot summer months, bass are often found feeding aggressively in the early morning and late evening when the water temperatures are cooler. The Gurgler is ideal for this time of year because its topwater action can entice explosive strikes from bass that are actively hunting near the surface.

Using the Gurgler for Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater fishing in the summer offers some of the most thrilling opportunities for fly anglers. In the warm coastal waters, species like striped bass, redfish, baby tarpon, and sea trout are actively feeding, especially during dawn and dusk when the tides are changing. The Gurgler's surface action is perfect for these conditions, creating a commotion that mimics baitfish or shrimp skittering across the surface. This irresistible movement can provoke aggressive strikes from saltwater predators, making the Gurgler a go-to fly for summer saltwater adventures.

Best Times to Use the Gurgler

The Gurgler shines during warmer months when fish are more likely to be feeding near the surface. Early morning and late evening are prime times, as fish are often more active and less wary. The Gurgler can also be highly effective during overcast days or when there is a light chop on the water, which can help disguise the fly's presence and enhance its action.

How to Fish the Gurgler

  1. Cast Near Structure: Fish are often hiding near structures like logs, rocks, and vegetation. Cast your Gurgler near these areas to entice lurking predators.
  2. Retrieve with Action: Use a series of short, sharp strips to create the signature gurgling sound and movement. Vary the speed and length of your strips to see what the fish prefer.
  3. Pause and Observe: After a few strips, let the fly sit motionless for a moment. Fish will often strike during these pauses, mistaking the Gurgler for an easy meal.
  4. Stay Alert: Topwater strikes can be explosive. Be ready to set the hook quickly when a fish attacks.

Gurgler Saw and Gurgler Saw Frog Patterns

Among the various Gurgler patterns, the Gurgler Saw and Gurgler Saw Frog stand out for their specialized design and exceptional effectiveness in targeting bass. These patterns incorporate unique features that make them particularly effective in mimicking natural prey and enticing aggressive strikes.

  • Gurgler Saw Pattern:

    • Saw-Like Body: The body of the Gurgler Saw is often crafted with a saw-like edge or segmented foam, creating a more pronounced gurgling and popping action on the water's surface.
    • Enhanced Movement: The unique body shape increases the fly's movement in the water, mimicking the erratic motion of struggling prey.
    • Versatility: This pattern is highly versatile, making it suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, targeting species such as bass, pike, and saltwater predators like striped bass and redfish.

  • Gurgler Saw Frog Pattern:

    • Frog-Like Appearance: The Gurgler Saw Frog is tied with materials that mimic the coloration and shape of a frog, often including green foam bodies, rubber legs, and eyes.
    • Realistic Action: When retrieved, this pattern creates a realistic swimming motion that mimics a frog moving across the water's surface, making it irresistible to predatory fish.
    • Durability: Built with robust materials, the Gurgler Saw Frog can withstand repeated strikes from aggressive fish, ensuring it remains effective throughout your fishing trip.

Featured Patterns

At Jackson Hole Fly Company, we offer several variations of the Gurgler to suit different fishing conditions and target species. Here are some of the featured patterns available on our website:

  • Gurgler Black/Yellow/White: A high-contrast pattern that works well in low-light conditions.
  • Gurgler Chartreuse: Excellent for both freshwater and saltwater applications, especially effective in murky waters.
  • Gurgler Red: The bold color makes it highly visible and effective for a variety of species.
  • Gurgler Orange/Black: A striking pattern that works well in a range of lighting conditions and water clarities.
  • Gurgler Saw Olive/Yellow: Perfect for creating a strong surface commotion that attracts a variety of predatory fish.
  • Gurgler Saw Frog: Ideal for imitating frogs and enticing bass with its realistic appearance and action.

Explore our full range of Gurgler patterns here.

The Gurgler is a must-have in any fly angler's box, offering exciting topwater action and versatility across multiple species and environments. July is the perfect month to target bass with the Gurgler, providing thrilling topwater strikes and memorable fishing experiences. Try out one of our featured Gurgler patterns this month and experience the thrill of surface strikes firsthand!

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