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by Bob Banfelder


My first fly-tying kit came with a sixty-four page booklet titled Practical Flies and Their Construction, written by Lacey E. Gee and Erwin D. Sias, illustrated by John Goettsch (revised edition), copyright 1966. Generally, I tell folks to shy away from purchasing bargain-priced fly-tying kits. The vise that generally comes with such a kit is usually no bargain; this was true of my original purchase made many moons ago. However, in retrospect, that little booklet alone was worth the price of the kit. One particular fly recipe instructed readers on how to tie The Gimp, a deadly freshwater fly for trout.

Insect Arthropod Wood Pest Parasite

Gimp Flies on #16 Hook

I had used that fly successfully for many years on Long Island, fishing the Nissequogue River, Connetquot River, and the Carmans River — nailing brook, rainbow, and brown trout. Also, I played around with the Gimp in ponds and lakes for bluegills and perch. Later in life, I plied the waters of upstate New York and Canada, too. The Gimp is one of my freshwater favorites, rarely having failed me. The fly was Lacey Gee's creation, the story and pattern initially published in an Outdoor Life magazine (November 1950) article titled They Go for the Gimp, written by Erwin Sias. Interestingly, practically 70 years later, a good many fly-fishing folks never heard of the fly, while others remember it vaguely. The Gimp is a lethal freshwater fly—a fly that comes along once in a great while.

The magic of this nymph fly is its perfect dun color feathers simulating many an insect. They are the after-shaft feathers taken in back of and at the base of the Lady Amherst Pheasant tippet feather.

Vertebrate Fishing lure Fishing bait Insect Tail

The Gimp Fly on a 2/0 hook for saltwater application

The Gimp Fly Recipe


Hook: Mustad-Viking 94838 #8 (turned-down eye)
Thread: Danville's Flat-Waxed Nylon - black
Body: Single strand of blue-gray or brown-gray (dun-colored) wool
Tail: Several dun-colored hen hackle fibers (toothpick thin)
Wings: Two (2) dun-colored Lady Amherst pheasant ‘gimp' feathers [found behind, parallel to, just at the base of the larger white/ black-rimmed tippet feather].
Collar: One (1) dun-colored hen hackle
Epoxy: Five-minute two-part plastic resin epoxy


1. Atop the bend of the hook, tie in several hen hackle fibers to form the tail.

2. Tie in the single strand of dun-colored wool and form a cigar-shaped body, leaving ? inch behind the eye of the hook.

3. For the wings, place and tie in the two gimp feathers, one atop the other, at the head of the tapered body.
a) Elevate the wings and wrap the thread twice or thrice directly behind the feathers to lock them in a partially raised position.

4. Tie in the dun-colored hen hackle collar, winding it twice around the shank, directly in front of the gimp feather.

5. Trim and whip-finish to the eye of the hook to form the head.

6. Brushing back the hackle with the tips of your fingers and holding the fibers out of harm's way, apply the head cement. Allow the thread to absorb the chemical.

For those of you who do not tie your own flies, this fly is available in various hook sizes from me on eBay.

Bob Banfelder

Award-Winning Crime Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer
Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Who's Who in America

Publication Shelving Book Gadget Font

Several of My Award-Winning Crime Fiction Novels Incorporate The Great Outdoors

Top to Bottom:

The Richard Geist Three-Book Series ~ Trilogy

Dicky, Richard, and I. A story of madness in the making. A curious mix of a mother's care and cruelty concerning her young son, Dicky Geist, and the precocious boy's metamorphosis into that of a multiple murderer.

The Signing. An account of a clandestine murderous cult monikered the Inner Circle of Friends, led by Richard Geist. Geist and cult members are hellbent on creating chaos and bringing about the eventual collapse of our government.

The Triumvirate. A tale of Neo-Nazism. Three most powerful men covertly control governments around the globe. Fifty-year-old secrets begin to surface referencing Hitler's progeny, the Manhattan Project, and Nazi gold in this mystery within a mystery. It is the genesis of the Fourth Reich.

The Justin Barnes Four-Book Series ~ Tetralogy

The Author
. A prolific serial killer is the author and architect of a covert operation whose job it is to place government operatives within the ranks of worldwide extremist groups. Justin Barnes, a street savvy Afro-American maverick, searches unrelentingly for the madman who viciously murdered Justin's female cousin.

The Teacher. Justin Barnes, working clandestinely with Suffolk County homicide detectives on Long Island, is assigned to help track down Malcolm Columba's associate, serial killer Professor Clarence Emery. The pair had worked in concert, and Justin is out to stop Emery before he strikes again. A terrifying tale of evil and what it takes to stop it in its tracks.

Knots. Kalvin Matheson, an out-of-work insurance salesman obsessed with immortality and hero worship regarding two notorious serial killers, follows in the footsteps of his two diabolical pals, but with a subtle signature twist, utilizing intricate knots.

The Good Samaritans. In this final four-part series, Justin Barnes, once again, assists Suffolk County homicide detectives as part of a covert operation in tracking down Sep Cramer, a politically well-connected, ruthless serial killer.


Trace Evidence. Inspired by the Robert Shulman Serial Killer Trial in Riverhead, N.Y., Robert Banfelder spent every day for 15 months as a spectator to obtain fodder for this novel.

Battered. Based on a true story of an abused woman who murdered her husband, Robert Banfelder communicated with abused women, one of whom spent 15 years in prison for her crime.


The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water. A concise yet comprehensive angling and on-the-water activities handbook covering spin, bait, fly-fishing, fly tying, clamming, crabbing, kayaking, canoeing, seafood recipes and much more. For novice through experienced anglers. Endorsed by Left Kreh and Angelo Peluso. [black & white photos]

The North American Hunting Smart Handbook: Bonus Feature: Hunting Africa's & Australia's Most Dangerous Game. A concise yet comprehensive small and big game hunting handbook covering guns and bows. Includes upland bird hunting, land management, whitetail tactics and much more. Special bonus feature includes stories of big game hunting in Africa and Australia by seasoned hunters. [color photos]

The Essential Guide to Writing Well and Getting Published. A must-have guide for both novice and veteran writers. This handbook includes tips on how to make money and gain rewards from outdoors writings. Color-coded lessons for easy comprehension

Bull's-Eye! Sage Advice on Crossbows, Compound Bows, Broadheads, Targets, Clothing & Gear with Bonus Feature: Bowfishing on a Budget
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