A gift of flies

I received a present of the flies above on Thursday from David Gaudochon. Not only are they Jack Gartside patterns but they have been tied by Jack Gartside himself. David and I spoke at length of the relationship between the spirit that is inherent in something made by a tier that you connect with and then consequently how you fish with a feeling that is like nothing else. Both Brian and Andy do this for me.

Jack is most famous in my mind for the creation of the gurgler fly.

Jack Gartside is counted as one the most innovative and prolifically inventive fly tyers of the modern era. He got his first fly tying lesson in 1956 from Ted Williams, the great Boston Red Sox outfielder. That served as the beginning of a professional tying and angling career that spanned more than 50 years. Jack was one of the first fly tyers profiled in Sports Illustrated magazine (Oct. 12, 1982). His best-known original patterns include the Gurgler, the Sparrow, the Soft Hackle Streamer, and the Gartside Pheasant Hopper. His designs have been featured in Eric Leiser’sBook of Fly Patterns, Judith Dunham’s The Art of the Trout Fly, Lefty Kreh’s Salt Water Fly Patterns, Dick Stewart’s Salt Water Flies, and Dick Brown’s Flyfishing for Bonefish.

Sadly, Jack died in December 2009. In 2010 he was selected into the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame. It was a long-standing desire of his that his work and this web site continue to be available after he was gone. And so it is.

Jack is the author of Striper Flies, the first book ever specifically written on fly patterns for striped bass. Another book, Striper Strategies, was described by reviewer Steve Raymond as: “…one of the most remarkable striper-fishing manuals to see the light of day,” and by reviewer Tom Meade as “Blessed with bright writing, keen observations, and the most concise advice a striper hunter can find.”

Other books by Jack include Secret Flies, The Fly Fisherman’s Guide to Boston Harbor, Scratching the Surface, Fly Patterns for the Adventurous Tye,r and Original Salt Water Fly Patterns.

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