The Gartside Sparrow

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2009/12/07 20:42:38 (permalink)

The Gartside Sparrow

   As FlyGuy638 brought to our attention in his recent post on the Fly Tying section, Jack Gartside recently passed away and although I have never met him in person, I have followed his blog, read his books, and tied his wonderful patterns.
  You know - with the advent of all the synthetic materials that have made their way onto our benches, it always kind of amazes me that the most successful patterns on our tippets are the ones that are tied with natural materials and are the easiest to tie. With the Sparrow, Mr. Gartside recognized the value of the aftershaft feather called the philoplume that is found under many other feathers on the pheasant and I always thought that this pattern he developed kind of centered around this feather. It is a very easy pattern to tie but the choice of materials that Mr. Gartside chose were ones that created movement and the natural look within the water - thus making it quite productive - one that can be fished as a nymph or stripped through the current. This pattern and it's tutorials can be found throughout the internet but as a way of paying a bit of respect to a man I have never met but fully respected here's a tute on the Gartside Sparrow.  
Note: Mr. Gartside calls for a longer collar than what I have here - it should extend out to the tail and beyond but I just did not have one long enough for this size hook.

Mustad 9671 or equiv.  - size 4 - 16
Tail - Pheasant rump feather tied in just a bit shorter than a woolly bugger.
Body - Rabbit/ squirrel blend. You can use regular hares ear blend but with a bit more rabbit added.
Collar - pheasant rump hackle.
Head - Pheasant aftershaft feather

1. Start thread and wind back toward the bend to create a thread base.

2. Take a "marabou" type pheasant rump feather, clump the feather together with your fingers and tie in a bit shorter than you would a wooly bugger. Wrap your thread over the feather the length of the hook shank and stop just short of the eye as shown. Clip off excess material. Return thread to the base of the tail.

3. Dub the body - trying to create a bit of taper to where you clipped off the tail feather.

4. Prepare the pheasant rump hackle for tying by stripping off the aftershaft feathers found on the bottom. When you do this, underneath you will find the philoplume that you will use for the head.

5. Take off the philoplume and tie in the rump hackle in front of the body. While folding the hackle over, take one wrap around the hook shaft and tie off.

6. Tie in the aftershaft feather and wrap forward to create the head. I like to tie these in by the base (thicker part of the stem) because the tips are quite fragile and will tear when you wrap it. Take care and use a gentle hand with the hackle pliers while wrapping this feather because the tip is very thin.  Whip finish off.

post edited by steely34 - 2009/12/07 20:45:26

"They say you forget your troubles on a trout stream, but that's not quite it..... you begin to see where your troubles fit into the grand scheme of things, and suddenly they're just not such a big deal anymore."

John Gierach


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    RE: The Gartside Sparrow 2009/12/08 08:10:26 (permalink)
    here-here, we salute you jack gartside RIP.
    steely, thanx for tute. as far as i'm concerned you hit it on the nose, natural materials are usualy the most productive and easiest to tie. ~dt
    post edited by doubletaper - 2009/12/08 08:11:14
    it's not luck
    if success is consistent 

    Expert Angler
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    RE: The Gartside Sparrow 2009/12/08 08:55:47 (permalink)
    i know that is the real pattern but i think a lil ribbing might help?
    maybe try some grey floss to stay with after shaft color? ff46
    very nice job tying steely
    post edited by fishenfool46 - 2009/12/08 08:56:39

    I didn't say these are the ten suggestions
    signed God
    Plum Bob
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    RE: The Gartside Sparrow 2009/12/08 11:26:04 (permalink)
    Very nice, buggy looking fly. Will have to try that on the erie tribs with a black or brown body.
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    RE: The Gartside Sparrow 2010/06/13 07:25:04 (permalink)
    I like this one too. It will make a nice anchor fly in a 3-fly czech nymph setup. I agree with some ribbing though. For me I'll add some really fine black wire to keep durability up.

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