9 must-have summer bass flies (including some you’ve never heard of)

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Photo: Rainy’s Premium Flies

EHLERS’ FOAM TAIL SUPERWORM

For decades, I envied Bassmaster-style soft plastics and flipping jigs. In particular, I longed for a largemouth fly to hop along a weedy bottom with its extremities waving seductively and, crucially, the hook up. The Superworm finally does it. The dumbbell sinks the extra-wide-gap (EWG) hook point up. The rabbit fur stretched across the gap makes it fairly weedless, while the strip of foam floats the rabbit strip tail seductively, as the other bits sparkle and wiggle.

Unlike a flipping jig, the Superworm won’t plunge through heavy cover, but in moderate weeds it sinks fast, and you can fearlessly bounce, drag or swim it along the bottom. Honestly, this thing casts like a chicken thigh, but it’s tolerable on a short line. As they do with soft-plastics, bass tend to gently slurp it in, so keep your line tight, and strip-set if you feel anything.

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With its weird hook and odd use of materials, the Superworm is confusing to tie at first, but online videos will get you through it. A drop of gel superglue works well for the tiny piece of foam on the tail. I also usually omit the weedguard, which simplifies things a lot. I’m also experimenting with a half-size, shorter-tailed version of the Superworm, which I’m hoping might fish like a fly-rod Ned rig. Stay tuned for updates.

  • Hook: EWG size 1/0 or 2/0
  • Tail: Rabbit-fur Zonker strip, 2 to 4 times longer than the hook
  • Body: Palmered Zonker strip (pictured), saddle hackle or similar
  • Flash: 2 to 10 strands of Flashabou
  • Legs: Rubber strands
  • Weight: Lead dumbbell
  • Flotation: Craft foam