Griffith’s Gnat- A Classic Dry Fly

Griffith’s Gnat- A Classic Dry Fly

One of my favorite dry flies to fish is the Griffith’s Gnat.  They’re very easy to tie, and seem to always catch fish.  Last Week, I was nymphing and the interest was few and far between.  I saw a few rises and midges coming off the water, and decided to tie on a #24 Griffith’s. Surprisingly, I caught a nice size brook trout off the surface.  I think the Griffith’s Gnat is so successful because it imitates a cluster of midges.  Many times, I’ve actually seen midges in the air go inspect my fly.

Reports say that the Griffith’s Gnat has been around at least since the 1930s, and was the favorite fly of George Griffiths, one of the founders of Trout Unlimited.  He was shown the fly in 1939 by a man named Walt Shaw.  No one is quite sure who invented it.

I’ve always been very interested in the history of fly fishing, and love to use traditional flies and techniques whenever possible.  Sometimes I see fly fisherman headed to the stream weighed down with gear like they’re going into combat, and I prefer to settle into the mindset of a simpler time.

Anyhow, Here’s the recipe I use:

Hook: I use #20-24, but whatever works on your local streams

Body: One layer of peacock herl

Thread: Black 8/0 Uni-thread

Hackle : Rooster Cape Hackle (Typically Bugger hackle)

Griffith's Gnat Dry Fly
My Griffith’s. This one has been mangled by trout.

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