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Fly Tying

Byrd's Gillbuster Fly Pattern

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Well where do I start? I love fly fishing and even though I am nearly 70 and no rookie to fishing, fly fishing is another story. I've been hanging out on the Forum and have enjoyed my time here but don't really feel like I have contributed much to the knowledge base. Let me preface the backstory by saying, I love Bluegill fishing. If i see a carp fly mentioned and the person says he had a hard time keeping bluegills off of it, I need to know more. So that brings me to the rest of the story. I read a post about a fly called Byrd's Gillbuster. Well, with a name like that I am intrigued. A little more searching and someone mentions it in a post about "one flys". Whoa, now you have my full attention. More searching and more mentions but no definitive pictures or materials are listed.
I post a question to the Forum and get some very helpful quick replies. Philly, Capt Bob LeMay, Bazzer69, richmce and others jump in to lend a hand. Philly posts a photo of what he has found. I eventually find that photo:


but also come to realize that the tier  says it's a modified byrds gillbuster recipe and used white zonker, pearl/white sparkle chenille for a body and  white and black lead dumbell eyes.
Hmmmm, so now I know what a modified gillbuster looks like but what does the original look like?
More web searching by me finds an earlier photo. Ah now maybe I am getting closer.


A photo with the name of the person that tied it but still no material list. I find a link to that person that brings me to an email that I am NOT even sure is still active. On a lark I send an email to the person that tied it. A day goes by and I get a response. His internet search pulls up the photo that Philly found and his respnse was, "The pics I find are not the fly I remember. The gill buster I remember was super simple. Black Rabbit fur tail, black uni stretch body, and dumbbell eyes. I sent him the above photo and he confirms that it is likely his tie and the fly. Well now we are on to something. A little more searching and I am introduced to what remains of Bill Byrd's now inactive website. From what I can tell, Bill Byrd like to fish with 1wt, 2 wt and 3wt max fly rods. From Bill Byrd's website:

"Use your favorite subsurface flies. Use flies with lead eyes 1/100th, 1/50th, 1/36th, and even 1/24th ounce to get them down. Even light chain bead eyes work well on the slowly suspending sub-surface flies. Flies in sizes-8 to -12 work just fine on bass to thirteen pounds. Use slender profile subsurface flies in the size-10 and -12 range and you'll catch larger members of other sunfish species as well. Select or tie flies that emulate the available food."


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So that brings me full circle to my tie and a materials list. Just in case someone else decides to tie a Byrd's Gillbuster, they will have my best guess.


Byrd's Gillbuster

Materials List:
Hook: #10 3761
Thread: Danvile 6/0
Eyes: Lead nickle plated micro 7/64ths
Tail: Black Rabbit micro-zonker strip
Body: Black  Danville Acetate Floss
Thanks to everyone that participated in this thread. this is a great sharing, caring, learning environment. I even got a few new patterns to try in the process. Tight Lines. Rick


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I enjoyed reading that search synopsis, Rick, well told.  Hopefully you'll be able to follow up with some more fly and fish photos.  

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