As I have said many times before, I really don’t think that pike fly patterns, or quality, make a huge difference to the chance of success when pike fishing. In fact I believe it’s nearly 100% down to the mood of the fish. We have all had pike strike at bubble-floats, swim-feeders, spods etc. when they are in an aggressive mood. Having said this, I tend to put quite a bit of effort into making my flies as lifelike as possible because somewhere in my sub-conscious I feel it just MIGHT make a difference, and I get some pleasure out of looking at them myself! With this in mind it seemed a good idea to document the dressing of a fly step-by-step, for anyone who may be interested. So here goes with a perch pattern:
Fig 1 (above):
I tend to tie almost all my pike flies using invisible mending thread – cheap as chips and a tip given to me by Greg Strelley at Piketrek. Also I tend to use superglue rather than varnish, as it is very strong and holds the fly together at every stage. Here I have wound the thread up and down the hook (a 5/0 or 4/0 Sakuma “Manta”) and tied in a sparkly tail, followed immediately by some white ‘Alien Hair’.
Fig 2 (above):
The hook is then turned upside-down and a few strands of red added to simulate the pectoral fins.
Fig 3 (above):
Next step a small bunch of white hair is tied in, over-laid with yellow to represent some belly colour, and sealed with superglue.
Fig 4 (above):
Upside down again to add more white hair, which I usually tie in double-length so it can be folded back for strength and bulk.
Fig 5 (above):
Moving forward along the shank a nice bunch of multicoloured ‘flash’ is added, and overlaid with some olive hair.
Fig 6 (above):
Turning over the hook once more a few red fibres are tied in, leaving half of them projecting beyond the eye (they will be bent back later to form the Perch’s throat).
Fig 7 (above):
Right way up again and a bunch of ‘Black Krystal’ hair is tied in, once more projecting forwards. This again will be folded back to form the top of the Perch’s head
Fig 8 (above):
Fibres top and bottom are now folded back and the thread taken through to the eye and tied off in a whip-finish. Some ‘Z-Poxy’ is now mixed up and applied here and there to the head of the fly with a needle. It sets within a few minutes and, as it does so, the fibres are manipulated by hand to the appropriate shape. Z-Poxy is WONDERFUL stuff!
Fig 9 (above):
Once the general shape has been established the eyes are added, and this always makes a huge difference to the fly’s appearance.
Fig 10 (above):
All that remains to do now is to mix more Z-poxy and cover the whole head including the eyes, to add weight and strength, and finally add the stripes using a marker pen. There you have it. I have caught lots of pike on this pattern and tend to select it when the water is quite clear – simple and effective!!