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


Photo: Mad River Outdoors


Invented by guide and fly designer Blane Chocklett, the Game Changer is well named. I’ve rarely seen bass (or pike or walleye) chase anything with the ruinous abandon they show when attacking this fly. Another wildly unconventional pattern, the Game Changer is made with a series of short segments tied behind the hook. This creates a serpentine ripple that perfectly mimics the movement of a swimming baitfish. The classic GC is about 3½ inches long, but the synthetic material doesn’t absorb water, so it casts easily and lands very lightly. This makes it an excellent choice in clear, skinny water.

You don’t tie the GC so much as construct it, as you would a model airplane. Basically, you wrap bushy chenille around each shank before looping it to the next one, then lash the whole chain to the hook with wire. The result resembles a caterpillar, which you then trim into a baitfish shape with fine, sharp scissors. The contrasting pattern comes from colouring the top half with a maker. I also like it in white, with a chartreuse or red back, but this fly is so snaky, the colour is more for you than for the fish.


If you want to try tying the Game Changer, but are unsure about buying the right materials, the Flymen Fishing Company makes a handy kit (above) with everything you need to tie a few, which is a great way to get started.

  • Hook: Short-shank, wide gap, size 2 to 2/0
  • Tail: Marabou
  • Shanks: 3 to 6 Fish-Skull Articulated Spines or similar
  • Body: Chocklett’s Gamechanger Chenille or similar
  • Eyes: 3-D
  • Contrasting colour: Waterproof marker