[by Barry Ord Clarke]
It is no surprise that fly rodding for northern pike is quickly increasing in popularity. There’s something exotic about making the transition from quietly casting small dry flies into the delicate rings of rising trout to casting bird-sized streamers to huge northern pike. The electric anticipation of a tooth-filled, bucket-sized mouth, rocketing up from the deep and exploding under a goofy-looking fly, is addictive.
There are several things to consider when designing flies for catching large predatory fish. If you want general patterns for using just about anywhere for catching just about anything,then you should imitate widely available natural foods such as small baitfish. All successful predatory-fish patterns have a few key elements: lifelike movement, make noise on or in the water, big eyes , and the right color.
HOOK: Mustad 32807NP-BN or your favorite big game hook, size 4/0.
WING: Icelandic sheep hair.
FLASH: Opal mirage flashabou
COLLAR: Crosscut rabbit strip and marabou.
CHEEKS: Grizzly hackles.
TOPPING: Peacock herl.
EYES: Large adhesive or doll’s eyes coated with UV Glue or epoxy