Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jack Gartside's Fish Head Streamer

Here's another simple fly that has a world of fishing potential.  This is my first attempt at the Gartside Fish Head Streamer (FHS).  I know I will be making some improvements but it's a good start.

The Fly
The FHS is relatively easy to tie.  The recipe calls for a hackle tail (schlappan), a palmered marabou body and an EZ body head.  You can add weight or foam before you form the head if you like.  It looks very realistic and I imagine it will swim nicely in the water.

The Story
I love streamers but most of the patterns in my arsenal would be considered attractors.  They are large, flashy and leave a significant auditory footprint.  They are designed to be fished fast and trigger strikes.  However, sometimes you need to tone it down a notch - in gear terms its like going from a rapala to a fin-s-fish soft plastic.  Up until now my subtle streamer choice was a murdich minnow.  If you've seen a murdich minnow it has a slimmer profile but is still very flashy and requires some speed to create movement.  When I came across this pattern I felt like I struck gold.

First, the FHS is easy to tie (once you get used to the EZ body head).  Second, it requires very few materials.  Third, it has a lot of movement at very slow speeds (at least in the bath tub).  So, you can twitch it and pause and the fly will continue to move.  Fourth, it is a highly realistic pattern, which is great for clear water situations where you need a more subtle approach.  Fifth, it is highly versatile, which is a very attractive characteristic.  Finally, although the fly is long and has a full profile in the water, it is very light in hand and should be easy to cast.

My biggest gripe with the FHS is that you need a pretty wide gap hook to avoid compromising hooking ability due to the EZ body head.  The pictured fly uses a size 2 TMC 8089. This model is TMC's bass bug hook; it has a very large gap for its size 2 designation.  My next attempts will be on a long shank hook such as a Daiichi 2461 or possibly a tube.  Also, EZ body is kind of a misnomer.  The material comes with two fabric ribs running long ways along the tube.  To achieve a rounded head you need to remove the ribs.  This is EZier said than done.  However embarrassing it is to say, I have not figured out an easy way to do this.  In any event, so far, the pros far outweigh the cons.
Seen Better Days

My conclusion is that the fly has a lot of potential.  I'm sure I will do some tweaking once I get it in a fishing situation.  For now, I think its a good fly to have on hand.

Click here to be directed to Jack Gartside's web page for tying instructions.

Tight lines.

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