Garners Twisted Whistler

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Sometimes to catch big striped bass you have to do something twisted.

Garner Reid is back and he’s opening up his fly box to share part of his arsenal. When you guide for the toughest of freshwater predators, you have to be prepared to do what it takes to put clients on fish. No one I know does it like Garner. His Facebook feed is not for the faint of heart.

A big key to his success is collection of unique fly patterns for striped bass. The Twisted Whistler is no exemption. This fly pulls out all the stops. A sixty degree jig hook, tip dyed buck tail and Icelandic sheep wool give it action that those striped bullies can’t resist. It’s big, it’s bag and it catches fish.

Watch the video and learn to tie Garner’s Twisted Whistler.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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5 thoughts on “Garners Twisted Whistler

  1. Looks like a great, all-purpose baitfish imitation. Lots of new striper patterns over the last 5 years and I enjoy tying and fishing them, but frequently I’m skeptical about whether you really need anything more advanced than clousers and deceivers in white with contrasting back color (olive, chartreuse) to catch them.

    • To begin with, every location and time of year is different. I live in coastal Massachusetts. Where I’m fishing in the spring you can catch a lot of striped bass on Clousers and deceiver type flies. However, to get the bigger fish, 10+ pounds for the most part you need to go in another direction. In the past few years my go to’s have been big poppers, big gurglers, and large mush mouth flies. I have large bass suspended for about a month here. in the 15-35 lbs range. Those fish typically ignore Clousers and smaller flies. This weekend I got a 20# and two 15# fish and I dropped a corker mixed in with a number of other smaller fish. No teasing with plugs. Just solo boat fishing at first light around good structure. I’ve been fishing this area for over 20 years and feel I have it dialed in for fly fishing as well as anyone. If I go to Cape Cod Bay the game is completely different, especially if the fish are on sand lance. If the swap over to mackerel the Clousers get put away. I would imagine each locality and time of year has different subtle bait variations. I’m willing to bet that each area has big fish preferences. One lesson I’ve taken to heart is that catching small striped bass teaches you almost nothing about catching large striped bass consistently.

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