The late Jack Gartside created quite a number of fly patterns during his long fly tying and fly fishing career. Jack’s Soft Hackle streamer is a one of his most popular and earlier fly patterns. The Soft Hackle Streamer has been adapted for targeting a number of sportfish species. These include bass, pike, snook, baby tarpon, trout, striped bass, steelhead, and Atlantic Salmon to name a few.
The fly can be tied for either saltwater or freshwater. Choose hooks based on where you plan to fish the pattern, and for the species you want to target. The colors selected should also be tailored for the specific species. The fly is tied similar to the famous Alaskabou or Popsicle fly designed by west coaster George Cook, but there are a few differences in the fly patterns. The Gartside fly is tied with a front hackle of water fowl and the marabou is tied in butt first.
The marabou is an excellent choice of material and imparts a lot of life and action to the fly when it hits the water.
I love using Clouser minnows and fondly remember being able to watch Bob Clouser tie a few at a fishing show years ago. He mentioned several times not to overdress the fly and that most commercially tied flies broke this rule. The sparseness of the fly allows light to pass through the hairs and helps to sell it the predator as a baitfish. Shawn’s version of the Clouser tied with lots of light reflecting pearl flash. this will make a nice fly for trout in a number of colors. You can find the flash at Fly Tyer’s Dungeon.
Keeled Minnow Streamer fly pattern recipe
Hook: Gamakatsu SS15 – Size 2
Thread: Danville’s 210 Flat Waxed – Blue
Weight: Lead Dumbbell Eyes – Medium
Body: H20 Pearl Baitfish Fly Tyer’s Dungeon
Adhesive – Super Glue http://amzn.to/2sDVfQ0 (12 pack for under $6)
UV Resin: Solarez “bone dry” UV curing resin
If you are a fan of the Game Changer by Blane Chocklett, you’re gonna love this bucktail game changer from Tony Sandrone he calls his Nightmare Musky Fly. This pattern uses a series of small shanks that give the pattern several points of articulation. No doubt that this concoction will attract some esox predators, but be prepared to spend some time and money on the materials. The fly has 2 hooks and 5 shanks in the mix. Be sure that you take care when you are handling this one or you’ll be the one with a new piercing.
Shanks: 28mm Big Game Shanks or 40mm Big Game Shanks, 40lb or better bite wire for connections 1 foot
Hooks: Ahrex PR320 Predator Stinger hooks in 4/0 and 6/0
Eyes: 15mm Living Eyes from the Flymen Fishing Company
Other Materials: Dyed over White Belly Hair, Bucktail, UV Polar Chenille, Hen saddle or Neck, FrankenDUB Monster Dub and Hedron Magnum Flashabou
Coatings: Deer Creek Fine Flex UV and Diamond Fine UV
Hedron Magnum Flashabou