Tying the Boehm's Gurgler

The Boehm's Gurgler fly.

What's the Story?
Boehm's Gurgler was originally designed by SS Flies for Captain Alex Boehm who was at the time, looking for a surface fly that would appeal to baby tarpon in Ascension Bay, Mexico.  The resulting fly is a variation of the original Gartside Gurgler tied by Jack Gartside.  The addition of a fur-down rabbit strip allows the fly to pulsate with the slightest shifting current, even while at rest. 

What's it Good For?
This fly pattern will obviously prove to be a winner for surface-feeding baby tarpon, but it can be equally effective when used for snook, seatrout, redfish, jacks, and highly aggressive bluefish.  And freshwater species like largemouth and peacock bass can't resist a well presented gurgler.

How to Fish It:
Gurglers are easy to cast and land lightly, making it possible to place them very close to fish. Strip it hard and fast with aggressive fish, especially when they are actively feeding on bait fish or shrimp.  Swinging the fly under dock lights at night on a moving tide, with occasional strips, hard enough to "spit" some water, often elicits vicious strikes.

When an aggressive strip is too much, try a slow steady stripping motion that causes the fly to move smoothly across the surface, creating a "V" wake behind it.  Predators will mistake the fly for a small mullet or other fish swimming right at the surface and often attack with violence.  This tactic may also proves to be deadly on redfish when they have their heads buried in the grass and subsurface flies just don't seem to get their attention.  Be sure to allow bottom feeders like redfish plenty of time to eat the fly. Due to their downward oriented mouths, they can have some difficulty eating topwater flies and it make take them a couple tries. 

Tying Options
Color choices are limited only by your imagination but a few possible combinations include black/purple, chartreuse/yellow, white/red.  Be sure to use hooks that leave enough gap between the hook point and the body of the gurgler. This pattern can be easily modified with rubber legs, a different tail material, another layer of foam on top or a folded back head, etc. If you are a beginner and want to simplify the fly, we suggest leaving off the collar. The craft fur tail can be left off as well. 

Available on our Website:
This fly is available, ready to fish, on the Boehm's Gurgler page. If you'd like to tie it yourself, the Boehm's Gurgler Fly Tying Kit includes all the materials you will need.

Skill Level: Moderate

Materials List:

Tying Steps

  1. Prepare by cutting a strip of 3mm fly foam as wide as the hook gap. Using a straight edge with a sharp knife will give you a straight, even cut. 
  2. Start your thread Just in front of the bend. 
  3. Tie in a piece of tan rabbit zonker 1 1/2 times the length of the hook, with the for facing down (towards the hoop point).
  4. Tie in the tan craft fur over the rabbit strip to hide the top of the strip. The craft fur should be a little shorter than the rabbit strip.
  5. Tie in the white Estaz right in front of the craft fur and rabbit strip and pull it back out of the way. 
  6. Tie in a foam strip on top of the hook with one hook gap extending past the tie-in point. 
  7. Hold the foam strip back out of the way and advance the thread up the hook shank to within 1 hook eye diameter of the hook eye.
  8. Wrap the Estaz up the hook shank in touching wraps to form the body. Secure and trim.
  9. Tie in the crosscut rabbit strip and make one turn around the hook shank to form a collar. Secure and trim.
  10. Pull the foam strip forward and lay it down on top of the fly. Secure the foam in place.
  11. Pull the foam strip back and form a neat thread head directly in front, being careful not to crowd the hook eye.
  12. Whip finish and trim the thread.
  13. Cut the foam off, leaving a little less than a hook gap length extending out past the tie-in point.
  14. Finish the head with head cement or UV resin.
  15. If desired, use a permanent marker to add bars to the craft fur tail.

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