At the Bench: a ‘Hi-Viz’ Griffith’s Gnat

As during last summer, I’m starting to feel the “dries or die” urge.

I’ve done a lot of tightlining this season, and I love fishing my Thomas & Thomas and Syndicate specialty rods. I avoid indicators as much as I can.

But, I really do love fishing small dries. It was a great coda to the recent Pittsburg, NH, trip (more here). There was just something “right” about throwing small dries to wild fish on my #000 rod, and it was a lot of fun, too.

So, I’m taking a look at the fly boxes and realizing I need some of that ol’ classic, the Griffith’s Gnat. One of the Trout Unlimited founders invented it (more here), which I think is pretty cool.

I’ll fish the fly with my #4 rod and 6x tippet. I will work on improving my read of currents in order to achieve good drifts. I’m fine risking The Skunk, as I’ve caught plenty of fish this spring and summer.

That’s a great part about fly fishing: There are many techniques, and you get to decide how you want to balance quality vs. quantity. I bounce between the two, depending on conditions and my own mood. Sometimes, I bring multiple rods with me to the rivers. I then decide during the drive what I’m going to fish.

I’ve not done well with the Griffith’s Gnat. I know many anglers swear by it, but, unless the sun’s angle is right, I have a hard time seeing the fly and any potential takes. And, pairing it with a larger dry just doesn’t seem right to me.

So, I’m tying a size 24 “hi-viz” version:

Wish me luck!

How do you folks deal with trying to see small dries?


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9 thoughts on “At the Bench: a ‘Hi-Viz’ Griffith’s Gnat

  1. I’ve been fishing GG’s for 20 years; one of my best and favorite producers; from #18 to 26; never have trouble seeing them; Frog’s Fanny keep them up and visible reasonably well (good enough); pretty much a flat water fly; personally I think putting a sighter like hi-viz on top would ruin the fly. not much there to begin with; which makes it the great midge imitation it is. just my opinion. same opinion on the Renegade by the way; another great pattern.

    1. Got it. Will lean on the GG a great deal to see how I do.

      Also, how would Hi-Viz ruin the fly? Spook the trout? Change the profile?

  2. The 24 Griffiths is a must have for picky tailwater Trout. I’ll be on the San Juan in NM next week and I’ll be using that fly and other similar midge patterns. I always use a parachute on it with pink or chartreuse poly yarn in order to see it on the water. The other thing I’ll do, if there’s no parachute on other patterns, is use a color of CDC for the wing that is visible (ginger works reallly well). Sometimes I also add a bit of Loon biostrike about 3′ up the tippet to help me locate the general vicinity of my teeny midges and then raise my rod tip if there’s a rise nearby.

    1. I have that fly after I read an Ed Engle book. Hasn’t done much so far, but I will keep trying. Thanks for the comment and suggestion!

    2. I will tie more tonight. How long is the tail? Half the length of the body? Thanks in advance!

  3. Mine are usually a little short of the body length. Certainly no longer. Work good on the Farmy for picky fish in the fall. Your mileage may vary.

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