Pete's Gurgle-Pop Popper
My Favorite Flies

This is my variation of Jack Gartside's versatile "Gartside Gurgler".  It is absolutely my favorite fly....


Step-by-step instructions below.
Fly, recipe and photo by Peter Frailey



I have given Jack Gartside's original recipe a lower lip to create a larger popper face.  This adds a "pop" to the "gurgle"!  Therefore the name, the Gurgle-Pop Popper.  But I believe the rubber legs are the real turn-on.  I estimate that 80% of the bass and panfish I caught last season were caught on yellow size 8 Gurgle-Pop Poppers like the one pictured above.



Hook: Dry fly, sizes 4 to 12
Thread: Danville 3/0
Tail: Polypro yarn or synthetic fur
Body: 2mm Craft foam
Legs: Round or flat rubber leg material



Hook:  I tie this popper in three sizes: 4, 8, and 12.  I use a Mustad 3366 wet fly hook for the size 4 and standard dry fly hooks for sizes 8 and 12.

Tail: Use your favorite material.  Here are some examples using (from L to R) squirrel tail, calf tail, woodchuck fur, and Widows Web.


Tail and Underbody:  My favorite tails are made using a hank of Widows Web.  Zelon, Poly-yarn, Antron, and other synthetics will work fine, too.  Tie in the tail and wrap the hank forward as shown in the pictures below. Cut off the excess and return the thread to the back of the hook as shown at the right.




Foam Underbody: Use a pair of straight scissors to cut off a 5/16" wide strip from a thin (2mm) sheet of "Fun Foam", which is readily available in craft shops or stores like WalMart. (I use a slightly wider strip for a size 4 and a slightly narrower strip for a size 12.) Attach the foam underbody to the shank in three places. I spread a bit of head cement or similar product on the underside of the foam. Use 15-20 wraps at the first tie-in point.


Legs: Lift the foam and wrap the thread to the midpoint.  This is the second tie-in point. Tie down the foam with 25-30 wraps, to build a base for the legs. Tie on a pair of rubber legs, one on each side, with 10-15 thread wraps.


Lower Lip:  Wrap the thread forward to the third tie-in point.  Tie down the foam with 15-20 wraps, forming a lower lip just ahead of the wraps.


Back: Pull the foam forward over the foam underbody.  Tie down the foam with 10-15 wraps over the third tie-in point, forming the upper lip of the popper. Trim the upper lip to be a little longer than the lower lip and use scissors to trim the corners of the lip.




Final Wraps: I finish the tying by bringing the thread under the body and forward to behind the eye.  Finish off with a few half hitches behind the eye.

Finishing Touches: Turn the popper over and coat the thread wraps with head cement. The foam will get battered after a few dozen fish, but the Gurgle-Pop will stay together.



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