Farmington Frog Gurgler – Ben Bilello

Frog Gurglers

Though it looks more like a small bass bug, the Farmington Frog Gurgler was tied for the picky brown trout of Connecticut’s premier trout stream, the Farmington River. Once the sun is off the pool, the trout let their guard down and the frog leaps into action. It’s a clumsy fly to cast, especially on trout gear, but delicacy is not an issue. The noisier the retrieve, the better.  Browns will often show for this fly and not take, so it makes a good “locator” pattern. When they do take, it’s rarely subtle. Topwater explosions and chasing the fly across the pool are common reactions. My favorite scenario is when an aggressive brown, chasing the frog near the surface, forms a big pressure wake behind the fly before he inhales it. Though it’s not the overall most effective fly in my box, it gets my vote for the most fun.


Hook: TMC 8089 #6
Thread: Olive 3/0 or 6/0
Tail: tuft of olive grizzly chickabou; a few strands of pearl krinkle flash
Legs: 4 olive grizzly saddle hackles; 2 on each side of the shank, concave side facing out
Shellback: Green closed cell foam, folded over on itself to form a lip in front (w/optional black and brown dots)
Body: Chartreuse Estaz
Froggy Arms: olive speckled centipede legs, knotted

You can find more flies by Ben at his website.

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