One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I really like this saying when it comes to fishing for some of the less popular species such as carp or gar. Though carp are becoming quite popular within the fly fishing community gar are still unknown to many anglers.
For me, I chase carp for the challenge and the fight. Carp are all finesse when they’re crawling through the shallows but when you stick one they’re like a rabid pig.
Throwing huge wakes and peeling off line is a fighting carp’s specialty. That is not the case with gar. They do not have the fight in them that carp have. It’s the gar’s aggression, acrobatic jumps, and the overall prehistoric look that draws me to this fish.
The incredible part of gar fishing, is you can make them bite every single time. If you can manage to sneak up and find a fish in sight then you can catch one. The key is accuracy. Like most sight fishing you must put that fly in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. In fact it is such an instinctive and aggressive strike, that the fly doesn’t even matter. For gar there is an area about the size of a dinner plate that if you can put your fly in it then they’ll bite.
Here's How To Do It:
There are a lot of options. But the blue, green, and orange paths in the diagram are the most common casts.
First, the orange cast. Most gar seem to parallel the bank so this path is pretty typical. Often times when you cast to the orange "x" the fish wont swipe when you bring it through the first zone. But if you can drop it in the second zone they'll take a snap every time.
Second, the blue path. Dropping your fly out in front of the fish and stripping it back at an angle is a great way to induce a strike. This pattern is very realistic and will get em every time.
Third, the green path. Often times after inducing a swipe from the orange cast the green cast is your next attempt if you didn't get the fish hooked. Bringing the fly past the fish from his tail is a common play when fishing for gar, and is cash money every time.