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.
And then I put everybody to work with a fly we tied together.
With some tips and tricks from Anthony.
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.
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.
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.
Fold the rest over, and do the same.
Do exactly the same with a small clump of flash material (here I used our own Mylar Tinsel).
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).
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.
And this is the same fly, tied on a tube.
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.
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.
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.
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…