The most common way to catch gar doesn’t even involve hooks!
Recently, I was on a redfish trip down on the Texas coast. Overall, it was an unbelievable trip. We saw a ton of tailing reds in all that brackish water, and caught quite a few as well. However, we also saw several alligator gar. Catching a giant alligator gar on the fly is a dream of mine. So yes, I did present to them when I saw them. However, now I feel like I might have missed an opportunity. Fly fishing for gar is quickly becoming the new carp of the fly fishing world. It won’t be long until you start seeing this trend develop everywhere.
Don’t get me wrong, fly fishing for gar has been a thing for a select few for a while. Just like about 10 years ago when carp on the fly took off, it seems those trash fish anglers have now set their sites on gar. If huge, aerobatic, and abundant fish sound like fun to catch to you too, then maybe you should give this seldom sought after fish a try. From the looks of it, it can become just as addictive as carp.
With gar populations covering most of the US, it’s very likely you have them swimming in large numbers in stagnate waters, isolated creeks, and boggy ponds near you right now. The ever-famous alligator gar has been the center of attention lately as a means to combat the invasive Asian carp if their numbers can get back to historic records. In other words, these fish aren’t going anywhere. So, how do you catch them?
Well, this can be easier said than done. Most will find their mouths incredible boney and hard to set into. However, that’s where the guys who are fly fishing for gar have found a secret. They use a nylon rope fly…with no hooks.
Any YouTube search can show you exactly what I’m talking about. More or less, just take a small piece of nylon rope, fray it out, and tie a small knot in one end. From there, use a circle hook, or just any old hook, and sink the barb into the knot. Now, use a lighter and melt the knot around the hook. There you go. What is left is a fishy looking fly that will stone cold catch gar.
You see, gar have super toothy mouths. When they hit the rope fly, their teeth get caught up in the rope, and they can be reeled in. I’m sure you can already hear the purists moaning about that one, but who cares. These are gar we are talking about. It’s the time on the water and catching a dinosaur that is intriguing to me. If a rope fly make that possible, then sign me up.
Image credit to Texas Parks and Wildlife