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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gut-Bomb: Tan Edition

Tan is the new red

The other day, we got a comment on the original Gut-Bomb article asking an excellent question in tying the Gut-Bomb in a tan color, similar to the photos we posted of the natural bloodworms (from Phil Rowley's website). The naturals come in a variety of colors, depending on the amount of hemoglobin, ranging from red to tan, as shown below, but also showing up in greens, grays and browns.

New Tan variation of the Gut-Bomb
Bloodworms come in a variety of color shades
The challenge with this particular color combination is that tan, being a lighter color, becomes more difficult to get it to "pop" in contrast to the darker black vein. I ended up going through a few variations with different colors of thread, stretch flex and Sharpies. Most of the time, the fly ended up much darker than I'd like. I finally ended with a relatively decent color combination using some tan GSP. Because the thread now becomes the main fly color, I ended up using a black fine point marker to create the "gut" (whereas the original pattern, the "gut" is created/colored via the black thread and the body color comes from Sharpies). Also, for some reason, with this lighter color, I liked the way the fly looked without the ribbing.

Anyway, it's another color to try out. Here's the original video tutorial, so just swap out the thread, leave out the ribbing and Sharpie coloring, add some black vein markings and you're set.


  1. That's awesome, thanks for the update! These look exactly like the midge larvae on the Little Red in Arkansas.

    I still can't get mine to come out as tan as yours using clear stretch flex. Are you using tan stretch flex? Or perhaps just coloring the sides of the thread base black and not the top and bottom to create the vein?

    1. I've been using clear stretch flex on all gut bombs in general. On this one, I use a fine tip black marker to lightly mark up just the sides. This allows the tan thread to maintain it's overall tan coloring as you see on the final product after adding the CCG.

    2. Hi Curtis! Great fly. I've been experimenting with the tan version and found a solution that might be useful to you or your readers. I used two pieces of black Krystal Flash tied in text to the thread body to imitate the “gut” and it looks fantastic. I pulled one piece of the Krystal Flash up each side of the body and held it in place with the tying thread. I used Ultra 70 thread in the color cream, which made a perfect tan worm color once the stretch material and two coats of Clear Cure Goo was applied. The photo I have isn’t very good but I'm sure you get the point. I can send you the photo if you would like it?

      Great Blog! Hope to see you on the local Stillwater’s again soon. Jeff Brooks.

    3. Hey Jeff, thanks for the suggestion! Yeah, send me a photo. I think we messed around with a material-based "gut", so I'd be interested to see what you came up with. Thanks!

  2. What is tan GSP? Gun Shot Powder? Goat Scented Package? Gold Super Porcupines? Love your website. It has really inspired me to start tying alot more. Thanks

    1. LOL...I like Goat Scented Package. But in this case, we're talking Gel Spun Thread. :)