Though designed for ocean fishing, these eight exotic fly patterns are just as deadly on Canada’s freshwater fish
#2 BONEFISH SQUIMP
Known for reel-smoking runs, bonefish feed in shallow, ultra-clear tropical flats where they’re extremely vulnerable to predation by birds, sharks and barracudas. In a constant state of high anxiety, bonefish scurry around slurping up shrimp, crabs and other small critters. To catch the eye of such jittery diners, bonefish flies are designed to look alive and edible, rather than exactly duplicate the forage. The Squimp is a prime example. With bits that wiggle, swish and breathe, it’s the most alive-looking fly I’ve ever seen.
Designed to hop along the bottom, the versatile Squimp also swims in a fantastically erratic motion, jigging, wobbling and rolling thanks to the lightly weighted eyes and splayed rubber legs. It’s basically a tube jig for the fly rod. It looks so vulnerable and meaty that freshwater fish, especially smallmouth bass and stillwater trout, instinctively gobble it up. The original is a dull and shrimp coloured, but for freshwater, I prefer a sparkly chenille body. The black/olive version pictured above is hard to beat, but I also like all-black, brown/olive, chartreuse/white and all-white—and don’t feel bound by those ideas. By experimenting with colours, you can make your Squimp resemble a baitfish, leech, bug, amphibian, pizza slice or jelly doughnut—it doesn’t matter, because the fish will still hit it.
HOOK: Mustad 3407, 3366 or similar, size 2 to 6
EYES: Medium bead chain or dumbbell
TAIL: Craft Fur, 1 to 1½ length of hook
BODY: Plain or sparkly chenille
WING: Craft Fur extending to end of tail, with a few Krystal Flash strands on top