Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Jack Gartzonker

Hook: Mustad 33903 (size 2)
Thread: White 6/0 Uni
Tail: Rabbit Zinker
Body: Palmered Rabbit Zonker
Weight: Extra Small Hourglass
Head: 1/4" Corsair or Mylar Tubing
Eyes: 4mm Doll Eyes

This one is dedicated to one of my favorite fly tyers of all time, Jack Gartside. Jack died in December (2009) of cancer, but his patterns remain an inspiration to fly tyers and fisherman alike.

Gartside's original pattern was called the Featherweight Fishhead. The tail consisted of a pair of hen neck feathers, the skirt was palmered maribou and the head was mylar tubing.

The Jack Gartzonker is similar, but there are some key differences. The tail and body are rabbit zonker instead of maribou and feathers. I made this change because I prefer the way rabbit zonker moves in the water, not to mention the added durability of the material. A single rabbit zonker makes up the tail and body, so the pattern is a tad simpler.

Gartside used mylar, or Corsair tubing in many of his patterns. His use of the material is unique in that he cuffs the material on itself to create a very realistic fish head. I chose to conceal a small lead hourglass weight in the tubing to create a weight forward fly. The lead also served as a flat platform to mount the doll eyes.

Always attach this fly with a duncan knot to help impart a swimming action. The mylar head gives the fly a very unique swimming action that is dampened with a regular cinch knot.

This pattern is very effective on river smallies. I'll be posting images of fish taken on this pattern in the coming weeks.