How-To: Two Simple Teasers - The Fisherman

How-To: Two Simple Teasers

I’ve been tying flies, sometimes commercially, for 20 years or so now. In that time, my patterns have gotten simpler but more effective. While I enjoy crafting elaborate patterns for the challenge, these intricate creations are not necessary to trick fish. Instead, I twist unpretentious patterns that I don’t mind losing when packs of bluefish make short work of mono or unknown underwater snags take them from me.

Many of the saltwater flies I tie work equally as well as teasers, and score with a variety of species from fluke to stripers. When bass and albies are gorging on rain bait, nothing beats a teaser. And nothing beats the winter doldrums like a session at the vise. Here’s a pair that will catch almost anything in the Northeast waters, whether you choose the long rod or conventional tackle.

Simple Thunder Creek

In 1973, Keith Fulsher introduced the world to his unique series of flies in his book Tying and Fishing the Thunder Creek Flies. These simple patterns utilize bucktail, one of fly tying’s greatest natural materials. The hollow fibers trap air, which gives any fly crafted with it great buoyancy. The swept-back design of the fly’s head pushes water to get the attention of roving predators, and the wide profile is ideal when baits such as mullet or peanut bunker are present. As a teaser, these qualities keep this fly up off the bottom whether vertically jigged for fluke or other benthic fishes or used in combination with a swimming plug or tin in the surf, and match the hatch when wide baits are present. Here’s a simplified version of this iconic fly.

Materials Needed
Long Shank Hook, 1/0 or 2/0
Thread, Size G or equivalent
Bucktail in Your Choice of Colors
Stick-On Eyes
Head Cement or Clear Nail Polish

Step 1
Start with a long shank hook around 1/0 or 2/0 size. Build a base of thread, size G or equivalent, about half way back from the hook eye.
Step 2
Select and clip a clump of bucktail about the diameter of a pencil. Grab it by the tips and run the point of scissor through the denser parts at the base to remove the guard hairs. This will make the fur more uniform in diameter and easier to work with.
Step 3
Tie the clump of hair, with the tip extending well past the hook eye, in using minimal pressure. Too much tension will cause the hair to flare, and make pulling it backward all but impossible.
Step 4
Clip another clump of hair similar to the first and remove the guard hairs. You can use the same color or a contrasting one, depending on the bait you’re trying to replicate.
Step 5
Tie in the other clump in the same manner as the first, on opposite side of the hook shank. The tips should be in about the same location.
Step 6
Trim the hair so that it tapers toward the hook shank. Wrap the thread over to form a smooth transition onto the hook shank.
Step 7
Pull one clump of hair back and tie it in at the hook’s midpoint with a few wraps of thread. Again, you’ll need to use minimal pressure to avoid flaring the hair.
Step 8
Flip the hook over and repeat the last steps. Once you’ve built an even, narrow band of thread you can tie it off using a series of half hitches.
Step 9
Coat the entire head with head cement or clear nail polish. When that has dried, apply the stick-on eyes and follow with another coat of cement.

Jeanne’s Squid

Estaz is wonderful, combining flash and bulk in an easy to handle material. This forms the body on a number of flies I tie for everything from smallmouth bass to fluke. Years ago I started tying the “Jeanne’s” series of flies, named for my wife, to fool inshore predators. One of the most useful is Jeanne’s Squid, which catches fluke or stripers with equal ease. The glow-in-the-dark flash material helps when plying the depths for bottom fish, but works well without.

Materials Needed
Long Shank Hook, 1/0 or 2/0
Thread, Size G or equivalent
Glow-In-The-Dark Krystal Flash
White Saddle Hackle
White Rubber Legs
Stick-On Eyes
Superglue
Paint Markers
Head Cement or Clear Nail Polish

Step 1
Start with a 1/0 or 2/0 long shank hook and build a base of thread, size G or equivalent, all the way down to the bend. Tie in a clump of glow-in-the-dark krystal flash.
Step 2
Select a few pieces of white saddle hackle and tie it in so that the feathers are just shorter than the flash material. Trim the stems and form a smooth thread base.
Step 3
Take a few pieces of rubber leg material and tie them in, circling the hook shank. Once again, form a smooth thread base in preparation for the next step.
Step 4
Cut a piece of estaz about 6 inches long. Tie it in at the back of the hook shank and advance the thread all the way up to the head and secure it with a few half-hitches. Add a couple coats of head cement to make sure it stays put.
Step 5
Add some color with a paint marker. I used black here, but you can use whatever color best matches your local squid. You can even leave the teaser all white and color it on site.
Step 6
Apply a drop of superglue to the stick-on eyes, holding it with a bodkin to avoid gluing them to your fingers. Carefully affix them to the teaser above the hook gap.

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