charlie's flybox

Lead Eyed Gonga


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Charlie Craven and Charlie's FlyBox, Inc.
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step: 1
Pattern Description
The Lead Eyed Gonga has been one of my favorite streamer patterns for the last several years, although I have done a pretty good job of keeping it secret in that time. The Original Gonga was spawned as a sculpin pattern for a friend of mine going to Alaska, but the fly worked so well here it became a stand-by in my flybox. The pattern shown here is easier to tie than the original, which had a matuka-style marabou wing and was frankly, a pain in the $%^ to tie. Try a few of these this spring and fall when the fish are on the prowl...the wide head and bulky body of the Gonga draw fish in well both in rivers and stillwaters.
Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 5263 #2......... Thread: 3/0 Monocord................. Eyes: Medium Lead Eyes Painted Yellow, tied to the underside of the hook shank............ Tail: Sculpin Olive Marabou ....................... Hackle: Olive Grizzly Variant Schlappen ............ Body: Olive Ice Dubbing............................ Legs: Chrome Sili Legs, Green/Black ............... Head: Polarfiber, Olive.............................
step: 2
Attach lead eyes about three eye lengths back from the hook eye on the underside of the hook shank with several firm X-wraps. Apply a small drop of Zap-A-Gap to the thread wraps to lock everything into place. Continue wrapping the thread back to the bend of the hook forming a smooth thread base. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 3
Measure a marabou feather against the shank so it is equal to about half a shank length. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 4
Tie the first marabou feather in at the bend with several tight turns of thread. It should extend just slightly more than half a shank length beyond the bend. Measure another marabou feather so it is equal in length to the first and tie it in on top of the first. We want a nice full tail on this fly. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 5
Lift the butt ends of the marabou feathers up and wrap the thread along the shank to just behind the lead eyes. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 6
Lay the marabou butts down along the shank and bind them in place with a few tight turns of thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 7
Clip the remaining stub ends of the marabou as close as you can and wrap back over the marabou along the shank to the bend of the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 8
Select a nice soft and wide schlappen feather and preen the fibers back along the tip as shown above. Tie the tip of the feather in with the outside facing you along the near side of the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 9
Dub the thread with a heavy loose layer of Ice Dubbing and begin the body at the bend of the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 10
Wrap the dubbing forward loosely creating a full, shaggy body. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 11
Dub all the way up to just behind the lead eyes. The body should have just a slight taper. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 12
Hold the schlappen feather above the hook so it is taut and fold the hackle fibers back to the rear side of the quill as you would for a wet fly collar. You want all the fibers creased back to the backside of the stem. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 13
Palmer the schlappen feather forward with evenly spaced turns to the front of the body. Stroke the hackle fibers back as you wrap to keep a nice smooth flowing hackle . Tie the feather off at the front of the body with several tight turns of thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 14
Use a wire brush to stroke the fibers back along the body and at the same time, brush out some of the body dubbing. Pinch the hackle down tight against the body with your fingers to slope it back. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 15
Lay three long strands of Sili Legs in at the front edge of the body and bind them down at the center of their length with half of the strands laying parallel to the shank along the near side of the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 16
Pull the other end of the Sili Legs back along the far side of the hook and bind them in place with a couple tight turns of thread. You want the legs to lie along either side of the hook. Do not trim them to length just yet as their length will make it easier to keep them out of the way in the interim. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 17
Pull the Sili Legs back along the sides of the hook and push them into your material spring to hold them out of the way in the next few steps. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 18
Cut a long, slim clump of Polarfiber or craft fur from the hide. Try to keep the fibers aligned in a sheet as shown here. We are going to cut the top half of these fibers away and use them to make the collar in the next step. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 19
Lay the tips of the Polarfiber clump in along the top of the hook so that the tips extend to the base (front end) of the tail. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 20
Tie the tips in place with several tight turns of thread. You want these fibers to form a collar around the top 180 degrees of the hook. Clip any remaining butt ends as close as you can. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 21
Form a dubbing loop with the thread and insert the Dynaking Dubbing Whirl into the bottom of the loop. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 22
Lay the butt ends of that clump of Polarfiber into the dubbing loop and trim the edges as square as you can get them. I find it easier to trim the fibers square after I have placed them in the loop, using sharp scissors. Make sure that the fibers are spread out evenly and there are no heavy clumps in the loop. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 23
Spin the dubbing whirl to create a fur rope as shown here. You only need a few inches of rope for what we are about to do so dont get carried away. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 24
Use that wire brush (Colliers Dubbing Brush) to stroke the fibers in the rope downward. This will make them lie back, similarly to the hackle wraps we folded earlier. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 25
Make two turns of the Polarfiber rope behind the eys and at the front edge of the body. Use the brush to stroke the fibers back out of the way as you wrap. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 26
Make a figure eight around the eyes with the rope. That is, come from behind the eyes and under the hook around the base of the near eye, then continue around to the back of the far eye& charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 27
Now come up again on the back side of the near eye and finish by crossing that wrap to the front of the eyes over the top of the near eye. You want to fill the head out a bit as you wrap so make sure to make a complete figure eight. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 28
Make a couple more wraps of the rope in front of the eyes to finish out the head shape. Keep using that brush as you wrap to stroke the fibers back along the way. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 29
If there is still extra rope left over, let the dubbing whirl hang so it will untwist a bit and loosen up on the Polarfiber strands. Once it has untwisted a bit, you can go in and tie off the loop with far less bulk than if you had skipped this step. Make sure to tie the loop off tightly. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 30
Form a smooth thread head and whip finish. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 31
Now, get back to work with that brush and stroke all the head fibers back along the body. You want to brush out any trapped fibers here as well. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 32
Trim the head into an elongated, tapered and streamlined shape as shown here. There is really not much trimming needed. I just go in and trim along the outsides of the eyes to expose them a bit and smooth off the overall shape of the head. If you do this right, it only takes a few snips. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 33
Use a Sharpie marker to make bands along the top of the head as well as the collar. Keep these bands pretty narrow and dont try to work them too far down into the head. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 34
Guess what? More brushing! Use the brush to smear the ink through the top of the head. The ink will smear throughout the top of the head and the collar darkening the top of the fly but still leaving some variegation. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 35
Now you can trim the legs. You want them to extend back to just short of the end of the tail. Once trimmed, theyll dangle down along the underside of the hook. Make sure to separate them if they try to stick together. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 36
Better view of the leg length in relation to the tail. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 37
Top view of head. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 38
Finished fly. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 39
Tallow Gonga (Tan/Yellow) Hook: TMC 5263 #2 Thread: Tan 3/0 Monocord Eyes: Medium Lead Eyes painted Yellow Tail: Yellow over tan marabou Hackle: Tan Metz Magnum Saddle Body: Pale Yellow Ice Dubbing Legs: Gold/Black Chrome Sili Legs Head: Shrimp Polarfiber, colored with yellow and sepia marker on top charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 40
Rusty Gonga Hook: TMC 5263 #2 Thread: Brown3/0 Monocord Eyes: Medium Lead Eyes painted Red Tail: Brown over rusty marabou Hackle: Grizzly Dyed Orange Metz Magnum Saddle Body: Rusty Brown Ice Dubbing Legs: Copper/Black Chrome Sili Legs Head: Rootbeer Craft Fur charlie's flybox
charlies flybox