Pike Initiation Day

Last Sunday, we held our first Pike Initiation Day. And because it was new to both us, and the people who were coming, I was very curious what it would bring.

After having breakfast together (that was a nice moment to get to know everyone), we had a somewhat technical part with Koen and Anthony explaining different fly lines, leaders, wire traces, etc… which led to many humorous discussions. I took some pictures but they‘re very hazy, so you’ll have to imagine that part yourself.

Then it was ‘fly time’, my part. I started off with an easy flash fly, from which I had already tied one for everybody as a gift.

Modified by CombineZP

And then I put everybody to work with a fly we tied together.

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With some tips and tricks from Anthony.

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Now, the reason why I chose this pattern is because it’s easy to tie, easy to cast, and you don’t need a lot of (expensive) material to have a nice profiled, bulky fly with a lot of movement. It’s nothing new and I certainly wont take any credit for it, but it’s a good start to get into the wonderful passion of tying and fishing pike flies (oops, I’m getting a bit carried away here).

And because this is an ideal moment to share it, here’s a short version on how to tie them.

Tie in a clump of bucktail, tight, so it flairs out like this.

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You can tie it in, in reverse as well, and then fold it over. Which, for a bigger (tube) version I would certainly recommend, but for this smaller (17cm) hook version that’s not essential.

Then I use this stuff, which is our own Synthetic Wave Fibre. It’s curly and slightly stiff; it will prevent the tail material from falling trough the bucktail and lose its volume.

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Tie it in, approximately in the middle of the clump, with a couple of loose wraps, and spread it evenly around the hook shank. Then fix it with some tight wraps.

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Fold the rest over, and do the same.

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Do exactly the same with a small clump of flash material (here I used our own Mylar Tinsel).

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Tie in a decent clump of Craft Fur in reverse, both on top and bottom of the hook shank. I used two colours here to give it a better look, but it will work just as fine with only one colour (I changed the background to blue, to see the black fur).

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And when you pull everything backwards (use half of a ballpoint pen), glue on some eyes to the sides of the head, and fix the fur between the eyes with some UV resin, you should have something like this.

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And this is the same fly, tied on a tube.

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You can see that I put a weighted cone on the nose. Because the weight balance is totally different on a tube (hook further to the back, no snap swivel), I find that the fly has a better (jigging) action with a bit of weight in the front.

Afterwards, it was casting time, with different rods and lines. So until now, everything went just according to plan.

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In the afternoon, it was time to put everything into practice. But I think that both the Weather and Fishing Gods sat down together and decided that ‘beginners luck’ was scrapped from the book.

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It was a drizzling, wet afternoon with no wind at all. Several pike were mist and a couple of fish were lost (I lost one right before my feet as well), so this was the only pike that came out.

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This is Diego, with the catch of the day (I won’t count Koen’s 35cm baby pike).

So the fishing could have been better (but that’s something you can’t predict), but I had a great day anyway. I met some very nice people which hopefully learned something and will further enjoy fly fishing for pike. We will certainly do this again…

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