The Tweaker Twitch

Michael Visintainer - 08/10/12

Using the Tweaker Twitch on the Spokane River.

What the hell is the "Tweaker Twitch" you ask?

What we now dub the "Tweaker Twitch" is a technique that we use on the Spokane River to fish our nymphs through shallow riffle pockets.

The Tweaker Twitch does 4 things:

  1. Keeps the flies from snagging the bottom of shallow runs, riffles, or tailouts by keeping the fly continuously moving.
  2. Allows the fly to "fish" through water instead of just bypassing it.
  3. Gives your flies (especially rubber leg patterns) movement and life to excite the fish and elicit strikes.
  4. By keeping the flies moving in a streamer like fashion you do not have to change the current depth of your indicator setup. Just fish it as is.

How the technique is accomplished...

  1. Cast across the riffle or slot that is too shallow for standard dead drift nymphing. Over shooting the target slightly is usually a good idea.
  2. Mend line up or down too allow fly to drop into zone.
  3. Lower rod tip.
  4. Strip fly back with quick 1-2" strips with a slight pause every so often to mix up retrieve
  5. Indicator should almost have a popper like motion across the surface... carefully not to do disturb the water too much though. It's a "soft" pop.
  6. Mend as necessary so line does not get too far up or down from indicator. We do not usually like a belly in the line.

The TT is a deadly tactic for rivers like the Spokane where the fish really key in on movement (ie caddis fisheries). It can be applied too many rivers across the world and really can add a few fish too your day and some really aggressive fish I might say! It's almost as if it pisses them off sometimes.

Now we didn't necessarily develop the tactic, this tactic has been around but I thought it could use a name. I do have too thank the boys, Steve and Jon, at NW Fly Fishing Magazine for inspiring the development of the name one summer evening as we watched zombie like tweakers zigzag across the shoreline of the Spokane River.

Give the Tweaker Twitch a try next time you on the river with a nymph set up whether you are wade fishing or fishing from a boat... it might just Tweak your thinking!