8 amazing flies most Canadians have never heard about



Most freshwater poppers are designed for largemouth bass, and sport a lot of frippery. That’s because they usually work best when fished very slowly or paused, with the wiggly legs, feathery bits and long, swishy tails conveying the impression of life. But these flies aren’t well suited for fast or walk-the-dog retrieves. Enter Bob’s Banger.


Stripped down to the bare essentials of a surface fly, this extremely durable pattern is very easy to make, and it casts and pops well. It’s perfect for targeting shallow-water pike on the feed, luring aggressive smallmouths up to the surface, or any other time you want a more dynamic surface fly. With the saltwater original, the body is covered in shiny prismatic tape. For freshwater, however, I leave that out and just put a bunch of flashy stuff in the tail. To get maximum action on the water, tie the Banger with a loop knot (or clip it to a small snap), and fish it with a combination of line stripping and rod-tip twitches.

  • HOOK: Mustad 34011 or similar, sizes 2/0 to 4/0
  • TAIL: Bucktail over Krystal Flash
  • MIDSECTION: Crystal Chenille or similar
  • BODY: Half- or 5/8-inch-diameter foam cylinder
  • EYES (optional): Large 3-D or flat
For fly-tying notes, photos and videos, see “How to tie 8 awesome saltwater flies.”