Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fly Box Hero - Jack Gartside

The Legend Himself - Jack Gartside
I was reviewing the Smallmouth Fly Box archives and was shocked to see that we never called Jack Gartside out as a Fly Box Hero.  Jack Gartside was one of the primary reasons I started this blog.  After numerous fly tying classes (mostly geared for trout) I found Jack's patterns.  Jack's flies seemed simple and practical compared to the complicated and tiny trout patterns I had been learning.  Hard to believe that was over fifteen years ago!

A few years back I was standing in a fly shop looking at fly patterns and noticed most of the offerings were nothing more than large trout flies, even the Clouser Minnows were geared for trout.  At that point I decided to embrace my hobby and focus on bass patterns.  The first flies I turned to were Jack Gartside's Gurgle Bug and Beastmaster partly because of their history, but mainly because of their elegant simplicity.

Jack passed away on December 5, 2009 of lung cancer.  He was a true legend in every way.  His use of sheet foam, corsair tubing and pheasant skins (all affordable materials) have revolutionized a generation (or two) of fly tyers.

Our hats are off to Jack Gartside.  His website lives on and is a great resource to study Jack's patterns and writings.  His books are also for sale on the site.

Some of my favorite Gartside patterns are shown below.

Gartside Gurgler
The Coondog
The CoonyJack
The Beastmaster
My All Time Favorite - The Silver Fox Streamer
The Softhackle Streamer

1 comment:

  1. That silver fox is interesting. I'll have to check out Jack's site.