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Pike Bunny Streamer Step-by-Step:
For the past year, the Step-by-Step portion of this blog has largely concentrated on patterns I use locally or those I’ve had success with elsewhere in the past (i.e. Colorado). With a visit to upstate NY (and plans to fish The Mayfly Project’s 25 on the Fly) slated for next month, however, we’ll be broadening our tying horizons a bit in the coming weeks. While some of the patterns covered will still have a place in my SE Louisiana fly box, many will be tied with the intent of targeting specific species on my trip north. Such is the case with today’s pattern, and its namesake species, the Northern Pike.
These “Toothy Critters,” as I once heard a southern Pro Bass fisherman refer to them, are solitary, ambush predators found throughout the cooler reaches of the northern hemisphere. Torpedo-shaped with an elongated mouth filled with razor sharp teeth, these fish are voracious ambush predators that will literally eat anything they can fit in their mouth (including slightly smaller pike). With this in mind, big baits are often key to drawing their interest, and today’s streamer fits that bill.
While I’ll be tying on a 1/0 hook today (casting a 7wt has its limitations), many pike anglers will tie their streamers in the 4/0 – 6/0 range in hopes of drawing the attention of truly monstrous pike.
|Gamakatsu B10S Stinger (#1/0)||140 Denier (Red)||Zonker Strip (White)|
|Flashabou Holo Flash (Silver)||Crosscut Rabbit Strip (Red)||Stick-on Eyes (4mm; Silver)|
|UV Resin||Monofilament (50lbs)|
Pike Bunny Streamer Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:
(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge)
Tips and Tricks
- Color Selection – While any number of color combinations can be employed for this pattern, it is hard to go wrong with Red & White when targeting Pike. While I can’t say why Northern Pike seem to prefer this combination (some suggest it looks like a wounded baitfish), they simply do. As a result, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not tying at least a few in the classic Red & White. As for other color combos that have been known to draw the attention of big pike, don’t overlook Red & Yellow, any combination that resembles a yellow perch, or all black. The latter is said to be especially effective in murkier water or low light.
- Slow Sink & Snag Free – Being ambush predators, Northern Pike are most at home in the shallow, weedy bays. These types of waters are far from fishermen friendly as a bait that sinks too deep will quickly foul with weeds (or worse snag on unseen structure). An unweighted, slow sinking pattern such as the Pike Bunny is ideal for such situations, but, if the weeds are particularly dense consider adding a mono weed guard. The tutorial linked here does a great job of explaining the general concept. However, consider checking Youtube as well as their are a few styles of weed guard to consider.
Proof of Concept
As stated in the intro, this tutorial is about planning ahead and is yet unproven. With any luck, that can change by late May as I try to check off one of the 25 species I’ll be targeting in upstate New York.
In the interim, however, I’ll include this shot from 2012. Caught on conventional tackle (shame on me, I know), the 39″ Pike shown is my personal best on any form of tackle. A northern Saskatchewan beast, I’ll be happy if I manage one half its size during my visit to upstate.