By A.M. Giacoletto, BLC Writer

Hot take: the Harry Potter films, one of the iconic film franchises from my generation, the millennials, are overrated compared to its contemporaries. It fails to reach the depth of The Lord of the Rings movies, based on the books by the famous English author J.R.R. Tolkien, plus Gandalf would kick Dumbledore’s ass in a one-v-one – fight me. Additionally, the whole “chosen one” narrative is a regurgitation of the STAR WARS films (the first six George Lucas movies, not that Disney hogwash) and, to be frank, all six episodes of the saga a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away did it better. Back to the Future holds a sense of nostalgia-flavored magic I don’t feel toward the young Brit-wizard, so maybe I’m missing the connection my fellow millennials seem to have. The books are beloved and I’ve never read it, so you hear no criticism from me on that front. Regardless, do you want to know of some witchcraft and wizardry that isn’t overrated? Well, you’ve come to the right place. The Conjuror, a multi-time articulated fly from us, Blue Line, with more hinge points than the human centipede (too far on the movie references?) that, through my experience, is a must-have for any serious streamer fly fisher, which I assume you are if you’re here visiting our site and our diverse selection of flies for the streamer enthused gentlemen… and ladies, of course.

First off, let’s address the elephant in the room: the Conjuror is not a Game Changer carbon copy. Although there are similarities between the two as it’s a unique fly on its own with noticeable differences. A sticking point for me is the price; Game Changers range from $12-$20 depending on the size and color, and few retailers sell full-sized Game Changers for less than ten dollars (numerous sites sell small variations such as the Micro Game Changer), but the Conjuror, a medium-large streamer, sells on the Blue Line website for ten dollars on the nose. No, it’s not a lower-quality fly, in fact, those familiar with our game know the quality our flies bring to your box, and the Conjuror is no different.

Disclaimer: The Conjuror is not a better fly than Game Changer; it’s a different fly. The Game changer is an iconic fly and deserves every ounce of adulation, praise, and popularity it receives as it’s a key fly in the development of multi-articulated swimming streamers. The Conjuror offers variety within the same streamer category.

The Conjuror weighs next to nothing, which makes it a lightweight fly for its size in terms of casting, and it often surprises those who realize it casts on a five-weight. Slim profiles in tippet and fly lines are known to sink quicker and more efficiently and streamers are no different, so the Conjuror sinks efficiently and quickly with a sink-tip line. A small tungsten bead toward the back of the first hook causes it to dart side-to-side and t-bone with each strip, thereby increasing the enticing appearance aggressive predators can’t resist. It swims rather than a slight wiggle in the tail, which is too common among swim-streamers. Two articulation shanks are sandwiched between two hooks for optimal action that imitates a swimming baitfish better than Nickelback tries to imitate a real rock band (yes, I said it and stand by it).

Predatory fish across the world probably show interest in the Conjuror if they cross paths with it, but I target two species primarily with this streamer: brown trout and smallmouth bass. For brown trout, I first witnessed Hobo Steve land a studly male brown last fall in Wyoming. His cowboy state buck ripped from the overhanging Russian olive branches to club an olive Conjuror. I continued to hunt fall-run browns with it in olive and white. Swim patterns akin to a real, injured baitfish flow through the course of the fly’s multi-articulated body as it flops back and forth through the water, shifting directions more times than an Uber driver in New York traffic. It rolls and bends with minimal fly line strips and requires little effort to swim and dart in such a way a fish’s attention turns to its presence like a lion sighting a gazelle. This spring, I chased smallmouth bass on the fly across the American West, and the Conjuror proved to be one of my best flies. I recalled an old trick when I learned the approach to bass fishing with a fly rod: match one’s fly to the artificial baits of the gear fishermen. My bass skills were honed on swimbaits and a bait caster rod, so naturally, I gravitated toward swimbait-like streamers when throwing for bass on the fly. Soft-plastic paddle-tail swimbaits, in particular, dominated my fishing, which was often presented with slow, steady retrieves (particularly in the spring), so similar to finding a Chick-Fil-A within a half-day drive, I searched relentlessly for a fly matching the hobble its body and the wiggle of its paddle-shaped tail. Enter the Conjuror and from the dark shroud, my swimbait fly emerged with a broomstick and boiling cauldron (in the right colors nonetheless). As Gondor did, my trip to a prairie smallmouth fishery called for aid, and instead of Rohan answering, Blue Line came to the rescue with a Conjuror. Dead trees and stumps were scattered across a flat with six feet of water. The olive conjuror lands within inches of a fallen tree, when suddenly two large smallmouths captivated by the Conjuror’s spell charged in at once to blow up the party. Strip, strip, strip, strip before I offered a brief pause. A vacuum cleaner's mouth opens, I feel the weight, and bury a strip set into its extendable mouth and I watch as it thrashes its head as if the metal band Lamb of God blasts over loudspeakers in the background. It pulls, runs, jumps, and walks on the surface with its 1,000-mile-per-hour flapping tail, and lives up to its species' well-earned reputation of being pound-for-pound the best fighter in freshwater. Once your order of Conjurors arrives, pull one out of the packaging, tie it to a piece of mono, and drag it through your full (and hopefully clean) bathtub to observe its motility. It swims with grace and efficiency as well as any comparable fly on the market. The metal on the articulated sections adds weight so it sinks with a floating line, but, as per usual, I prefer this fly-fished with a sink-tip (no shorter than 20 feet). If you’re a superstitious type, fret not because this fly’s sorcery only affects the fish, but similar to the two charging bass, expect to grow hypnotized by its graceful swimming and effective presentation. Oh, and I standby my Harry Potter take and I’m willing to take on the Gandalf versus Dumbledore debate anytime, anywhere.
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