Don's Fly Tying - the Gilmour Stickler

[the Gilmour Stickler]

For many years I have attended the Labour Day Classic Trap Shoot held at the North Okanagan Trap and Skeet Club in Vernon, BC. This shoot is attended by people from all over BC, Alberta and Washington State. On arriving this year, I received quite a shock to hear that my long time fellow trap shooter and fisherman, Jack Gilmour, of Nanaimo, had just passed away. Now Jack was a crusty sort, a fierce competitor, and also a friend of mine for many years. I have trap shot with Jack and against him many times over the years, sometimes winning, and sometimes losing which always brought a big smile to Jack's face. The Pacific International Trap Association (PITA) recognized Jack in 2013 by inducting him into the PITA Hall of Fame for his excellent trap shooting life achievements! If interested, you can view his record at

Now Jack was a West Coast commercial salmon fisherman for some 40 years. He was considered by his peers as one of the best Coho troller fisherman in British Columbia! After retiring from commercial fishing, Jack took up trout fishing in a big way, not only on Vancouver Island waters but in many Interior lakes when he came over for trap events such as the fore mentioned Vernon shoot! Jack knew I was a fly tier and we often discussed the best fly patterns for different waters around the province. He was always open to trying something new and came up with a stickleback type fly for his Nanaimo area cutthroat trout. His success with this fly dictates that we closely examine the pattern for October 2017!

[A Nice Vancouver Island Trout Taken by Jack Gilmour]



The fly shown is barbless but crimp the hook if not and pull a piece of thin oval green tinsel to cover the shank. Before adding a top and bottom section of the same tinsel, you add a tan wood duck tail, fan shaped. As mentioned, then tie in two more cut lengths of oval green tinsel top and bottom, synching down at both the hook bend and hook eye. Now place a long piece of tan wood duck feather at the hook eye, cut end first, tie it down there, also at the hook bend and roll it back to the hook eye. Here as you tie it down, hopefully the feather is long enough to splay the ends down to form a bit of a hackle. In other words, the top body feather must be long enough to not only go back and forth along the hook shank, but a bit extra to fold down as a hackle at the hook eye! The next step is to add a short yellow wood duck beard hackle. Now the red stick on eyes in the fly shown are a bit large but they were all I had on hand. Add very small red eyes and use lots of hardener to hold them in place. You have just finished what I believe Jack called a stickleback minnow imitation, nor do I know where he found it! However, he claimed it did catch fish!

My book of true sport fishing adventures in British Columbia, "Willow Sticks, Earth Worms", is now available at Trafford Publishing or if you prefer a friendly voice, call their order desk at 1-888-232-4444 toll free in the USA or Canada. In Europe, ring the UK local order number at 0845 230 9601 (UK) or 44(0) 1270 251 396.

Do you want to see the previous fly tying articles?
Monthly Fly Tying Articles from November 1996

Your comments are welcome at " dhaaheim at telus dot net"

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