Todd Kuhn writes in Outdoor Life about the magic of scratched lures, reminding me of the care that I’ve always taken to be sure a plug that caught fish ended up back in the box. Those were the “reliables,” to be pulled out when the “preferred” lure mysteriously stopped working, and they almost always made a difference. The same is true of flies.
“I’ll never use a bait without first taking some sandpaper to it and scarring it up. I postulate this gives the fish a visual cue that what they are looking at is wounded and not in any shape to flee. In other words, an easy meal.”