Rob Kolakowski photo


 Teasers.  Another technique you can add to your fly fishing this year.


Trolling a teaser behind a boat to call in fish from the depths is a common technique used in saltwater. You’ll often see fly fishing shows where the teaser is pulled out of the way and a fly is cast into the fray to take a variety of fish. This same concept also works well for freshwater predators like northern pike and bass.

Your probably wondering why one would use a bait and switch technique on a fish. Why not just cast a fly out there to begin with? During the warm months of the year when a fishes metabolism is at is peak they will often hit hardware with gusto. If you have ever fly fished alongside someone that is casting hardware and they keep getting fish after fish and your standing there wondering what the heck your doing, then you already know what I’m talking about. The fact is those large flashy noisy lures will call in fish from a long distance in clear or dark water. That advantage is something fly fisherman have struggled with for a long time. You’ll see all kinds of fly concoctions that attempt to reproduce the noise making capabilities of hardware. Most fall short. These fish will aggressively take a fly if they know it’s there. This is where the bait and switch comes into play. You can get their attention with hardware and catch them on a fly.

Here’s how it’s done. This technique works best when the hardware is fished near or on the surface so you can see the fish coming as it pushes up a wake. Have another person search the water with hardware and call the fish in. When you see the fish coming quickly reel the teaser out of the way and cast the fly in ahead of the fish and keep it moving until the fish bites. Prey doesn’t stop when it’s being chased.

The lure I usually use for this technique is a Johnson Silver Minnow. It is fairly wide and can be waked across the surface at a slow pace. It can also be retrieved very fast to get the lure away from the fish before it bites. The other advantage is that it’s completely weedless. You can cast it right on shore if your so inclined. Any spoon will work if you take the hook off. If the other person doesn’t fly fish you can put on a weedless hook and take turns catching fish.

Many techniques cross over from fresh and saltwater fishing. This is one that you can use to call in a few more fish to your fly. Imagine a hot fish pushing up water behind your fly and striking with aggression. What can be more exciting?

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