We saw a number of innovative new fly designs this weekend, but our favorites were three new offerings from Umpqua Feather Merchants. We didn’t like them because they were “classic.” Nor “flashy.” Not even particularly pretty. They’ve essentially taken the best attributes of bass lures and applied them to the fly realm. In other words, they’re dirty. Good dirty.
The Gamechanger is exactly that. Imagine a Sebile Magic Swimmer in fly format. Designed by Blane Chocklett of Virginia, this has a multi-joint articulated body (built with Fish Spines from Flymen), that, when pulled through the water, undulates so naturally, it looks exactly like a living fish. They’re available in “rainbow trout” and shad-white colors (bass food in California, and everywhere else, respectively) retail for $12, and they’re worth every penny. Just tie good knots.
We’ve known Fly Production Specialist Brian Schmidt for years, so we’re never surprised by his brand of dirty pool. He developed two killer flies for bass that are better than bass lures—the Schmidterbait (read Spinnerbait) and the Schmidterbug (read Jitterbug). If you’re a fur and feather purist, you will be repulsed. The spinner variation has a real spinner (and marabou, and ostrich…). If you want to catch bass on flies, you’ll lose your inhibitions. Retail for these will be $9.