Gar Fly – Brandon Parker

Brandon Parker posted some very cool flies on his Instagram. They are gar flies! If you have ever tried to catch a gar, you will definitely understand the purpose of this fly explained below by Brandon. They are difficult to hook because of their very narrow jaws and needle like teeth. I need to try these out this year!


Hook: Gamakatsu Octopus 5/0
Body/Tail: White Nylon rope (pulled apart)
Thread: Danville 210 denier flat waxed nylon.
Eyes: WTP Stick on eyes (sized to fly)
Head: Clear Cure Goo tack free
*** glass rattle inside the head ***

Different colored nylon rope would work (I’ve also been thinking about a glow in the dark nylon rope version for nighttime gar)

Fishing tips:
Erratic movements and short strips. The gar will “attack” the fly from the side. Let him “chew” it for a second to get the fibers stuck in his teeth.

Make sure and use a heavy enough leader and tippet as to not lose any hooked fish. Remove ALL the nylon rope from the gar before releasing. Any nylon that is left could stay tangled in the teeth, causing the gar to be unable to open his mouth…. causing starvation.


Filed under Streamers

4 Responses to Gar Fly – Brandon Parker

  1. Kirk Dietrich

    Try a streamer, nymph or soft foam floater on a #10 or #8 hook, very good hookup ratio. I haven’t casted to any gar over 24 inches with small flies but gar that size and smaller are suckers for my squirrelly tied on a #10 so I’m sure a squirrel tail streamer would work too. I tried the nylon rope flies when I first read about the idea around twenty years or so ago; back then they didn’t use a hook, just a wire with an eyelet for tying your tippet to. I didn’t have much luck with them and most of the time, the small gar I threw to were spooked by it but readily jumped on and were hooked by small flies. Much larger hook and you’re right, they won’t get it in their beak.

    • Paul Beel

      Good information Kirk!
      I have smaller gar around my area too, so I’ll have to try some smaller flies to see if that helps.

  2. Lee pillaro

    Kirk, this is Lee Pillaro (rarehugs on the laflyfish forums) we emailed a bit last summer about cichlid flies. Anyway I’ve been fishing the metairie canals for carp lately and those things are stacked with speckled gar. I was thinking on tying some rope flies but on a much smaller scale than this. I was thinking of using a #10 or #8 streamer hook with a foam top (like a gurgler) but using 3″-4″ inch of frayed nylon rope as a tail. You’re pretty much the authority on fly tying in southern LA (or so it seems) so any input would help! Thanks a million -lee pillaro

    • Kirk Dietrich

      Hey Lee,
      Not sure about being the expert but I have caught/hooked quite a few garfish in the metairie canals. However, I have never tried a rope fly. If they aren’t spawning, almost any bluegill fly will get a strike if you cast to them and manipulate the fly past or alongside their face/snout. A small streamer works great as does my Squirrelly fly and even little bream poppers so I’m sure a rope fly would work too. Those gar in the east/west canals tend to be on the smallish size so I wouldn’t make it to big. Some of the north/south canals north of Veterans blvd hold some 5 – 7 footers that can be seen rolling in the warmer months. Good Luck, let me know how you do.