Salty Pike Part 3: Flies
This is the third in my series of articles on fly fishing for Salty-Pike, the first gave an overview of the gear we use, the second presented a brief insight into tactics and this one describes the type of flies we use.
Flies for [Salty]Pike
I was first introduced to Flashabou Pike flies by a guy called Lasse Karlsson (now my husband 😉 ) on my first trip fishing for Salty Pike back in about 2004. The fly Lasse uses is a slightly modified version of a pattern which was originally developed by a Danish Fly-Tier called Morten Valeur. The fly is made up of a tail section and two dubbing loops of Flashabou. The result is a relatively easy to tie, easy to cast, highly visible durable fly with fantastic movement – all the characteristics of an excellent pike fly.
There are lots of different types of flash on the market, I have tried many of them but because of its softness and wide range of available colours, I personally prefer the original “Flashabou” by Hedron. The classic colours for Pike flies are silver, gold, copper or mixtures of these and in more recent years black holographic or pink flash have emerged (I use black for cod but that’s another story). The most successful colour combinations in the places we fish are red/kelly green and dark bronze.
I normally fish for Pike with a slightly weighted fly, I personally use bead chain eyes from the d.i.y store, but you can of course use a cone-head, epoxy eyes or thin tungsten wire if you prefer – its also a good idea to have a few unweighted flies in your fly box for fishing in shallow water.
Step by Step
Hook: Barbless Pike Hook, size 2/0 to 6/0
Head: Conehead or bead chain
Tail: Flashabou approx 1.5 times hook length
Hackles: Two dubbing loops of three bunches of Flashabou
Preparing the Flashabou
- Cut two bunches of flashabou – one in each selected colour
- Cut one in the middle and the second in one third and two thirds, your bunches of flash should now look something like the picture above.
Making the tail
- Mount a barbless hook in the vice or press down the barb
- Tie in the bead chain and fix it with super glue, or alternatively slip the bead over the hook bend up to the eye, tie it in and then fix it with super glue.
- Advance the thread to the rear of the hook
- Cut a decent bunch of flash in one colour and tie in as a tail (approx.1½ – 2 x hook length) so that roughly 2/3 points to the rear and 1/3 to front.
- Double back the forward facing 1/3 and tie the tail, whip finishing and fixing it with varnish or super glue
The first dubbing loop
- Make a large dubbing loop and attach a dubbing spinner
- Advance the thread to the bead behind the hook eye
- Put a long bunch of flashabou in the loop close to the hook shank
- Follow by a medium bunch and a short one
- Spin the loop horizontally making sure that the fibres do not tangle
- Hold the loop in a pair of hackle pliers and cut off the dubbing spinner
- Groom and order the fibres with a bodkin or dubbing needle
- Turn the hackle in close turns, carefully stroking back the fibers as you wind towards the eye
- Unwind the thread to the point where the hackle ends, tie down and cut off surplus
- Make a whip finish and varnish or super glue the knot
The second dubbing loop
- Advance the thread to a point behind the weighted eyes/bead head
- Repeat the dubbing loop routine this time ending up right behind the weighted eyes/bead head
- Whip finish, cut of the thread and varnish or preferably super glue the knot
- With a bit of luck your fly should turn out looking something like the one below
A Few more Flashabou Pike Flies
So that’s how we tie the Pike flies we use, hope you enjoyed the article. I am interested to find out what type of flies you use for Pike so please send me some photo’s of them, I’d love to see them.
Get out there ….
… after those Pike. See you on the water – Silja 🙂