When the rips start cranking and squid start flying is often how I mark the start of summer. Striped Bass pour into these rips and shoals to feed on the buffet of sandeels and squid throughout the summer, but those few weeks of June and July can truly be lights out.
When I look for a fly to target these rip Stripers, profile and durability are at the top of my list. The rips can be chaotic so the Bass need something they can quickly register as food, and 20-30 fish days have a tendency to tear up flies so both of those factors are key. Not only does thing Squid Gurgler have a great profile and can last through bite after bite, but it is downright fun to fish. Bass come up and crush this fly on the surface as it chugs along, so what’s not to love? Here’s a step-by-step guide on tying this fly, so sit down at your vise and get cranking!
- Start off with a big beefy saltwater hook. I like to use a hook that is at least 1/0 and up to 4/0 or 6/0
2. Tie in a clump of bucktail at the bend of the hook shank as the base of the tail.
3. Tie in 3 long saddle hackles around the bucktail as tentacles and then two hackle feather bases (just the fluffy bit) on either side of the hook shank.
4. Tie in foam gurgler body (a long rectangle at least 1.5 hook shanks long and a little under a hook gap wide), another piece of hackle or schlappen, and then the synthetic rabbit zonker strip.
5. Palmer the rabbit strip and then the hackle forward to the eye of the hook and tie off. Then pull the foam forward and tie it off to finish the body of the gurgler.
6. Trim the foam to the desired length. Don’t be afraid to leave a little extra you can always take more off.