Choosing your artificial lures and flies

Step into any fishing store and you will see the incredible range of artificial lures and flies you can choose from. You will find yourself surrounded by hundreds of small colourful objects, all varying in shapes and sizes. It’s almost like shopping for gemstones!

Which spinners should you choose?

Spinners attract fish by producing vibrations, noise and reflections. Their goal is to mimic a potential prey or to get a reaction from the fish.

When it comes to choosing lures, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The light gradually loses its colours according to the spectrum (the rainbow!) as it gets deeper underwater. Thus, the colour red is very visible on the surface. However, fish can only shades of blue and purple in the depths of a body of water.
  • Spinners either spin or ripple, and can be used alone or in combination.
  • Spinners used for surface fishing should be smaller at the beginning of the season than during summer. It is thus recommended to have 2 or 3 different sizes to choose from.
  • The most popular colour for spinners are silver, gold, copper, or a combination of these.
  • Many specialists recommend using a shiny (silver) lure in clear weather and a copper, gold or colorful lure with a rippled (hammered) side in gloomy weather.

What about artificial flies?

Artificial flies mimic larvae, adult insects or even small fish (streamers). They are put on hooks of different sizes and are made out of animal fur, feathers and fishing line to resemble an actual living creature.

Choose “dry” flies if you want them to stay on the surface of the water. Choose “wet” flies if you want them to go below the surface.


Contrary to what many people may think, it is possible to use a fly while trolling or spin fishing. The timber hitch is the perfect knot to attach a fly to a leader or at the end of your line.

Learn more

Find plenty of tips on fishing gear and techniques in the Complete File: Fishing for Dummies from the Sépaq.

Watch this video (in French only) made by Joannie De Lasablonnière on the timber hitch knot, available on the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs’ blog.

Listen to fishing enthusiast Alex Ranger for tips on gradually equipping yourself (video also produced by the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs).