I first ran across the Black Gnat from Larry Dalhberg’s DVD on Panfish & Bass. If you enjoy fishing for Panfish and Bass I recommend the DVD it is worth the expense and has some great information in it. The image will take you to Amazon where you can purchase a copy. On the DVD he shows the viewer how to tie a number of flies and the Black Gnat is one of them. I was taken by it’s simplicity so I tied up a few. After fishing them I was hooked (no pun intended). The fly is essentially a weighted Woolly Bugger but the hackle is palmered into a collar and not the length of the body. The weight helps the fly get down to the fish and the collar and tail have all the attraction needed to bring them in.
A Woolly Bugger has marabou for the tail but the Black Gnat used rabbit. You could use marabou if you prefer or don’t have rabbit. If you do you will want to keep the tail short and pull off the tips of the marabou so the overall look of the tail is shorter and blunter. The chenille body can be mixed up or even replaced with dubbing if you prefer. The collar in the video is tied with a Grizzly Hen Saddle hackle. I chose a Grizzly because I favor flies with contrast. I think having pronounced contract helps the fish key in on the fly as it swims in the water. If memory serves me correctly, the one on the original DVD was tied with an all black collar. You could use a speckled hen or even a rooster schlappen hackle if you prefer. You can also tie these with a bead or cone up front for the weight and it will add some sparkle and jigging motion to the fly. I have even on occasion added some rubber legs along the body or right behind the collar because any good Panfish fly is even better with rubber legs. Play around with it but definitely tie some of these up if you like fishing for Panfish.
|Mustad 9672 #10
|Uni-Thread 8/0, Red
|.015 Lead Wire
|Rabbit Fur, Red
|Medium Rayon Chenille, Black
|Whiting Grizzly Hen Saddle
If you would rather purchase some Black Gnat flies there are a few here at Dressed Irons for sale (while supplies last).
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As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!
Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.