Pike fly patterns: Fly tying videos before the Canada trip

My brother Nate and I have been fly fishing for Northern Pike for about half our lives, over three decades collectively. These are the patterns I use to chase them.

Nate's Esnagi Canada fly fishing trip

The first pike fly pattern, The Carpet Muncher, is Nate’s and is probably based on somebody’s fly that we’re not crediting but oh well. The Carpet Muncher is named for the Antron carpet fiber used to create the body/head of the fly. This is a light-weight, ultra durable bug that uses the action of rabbit strip. I fish this fly in shallow flats where I need a pattern that I can work slowly and not spook the pike.

The Carpet Muncher: Pike Flies

The Carpet Muncher
Hook: Gamakatsu SC17 2/0
Thread: 140 denier Ultra Thread, black
Tail: Rabbit Strip, black
Body: Marabou, black
Head: Body Fur, black

This second pattern, I’m calling the Stansberry Big Eye Baitfish. The main features on this fly are the huge eyes and big fat baitfish belly profile. See exhibit A:

Canada Fishing '05

I use these patterns for big pike feeding aggressively in slightly deeper or off-color water. This version of the fly uses Saltwater Yak Hair, but I’ve had a lot of success with Icelandic Sheep as well and like both.

Big Eye Baitfish: Pike Flies

Esnagi 2008

Stansberry’s Big Eye Baitfish
Hook: Gamakatsu Saltwater hook 2/0
Thread: 140 denier ultra thread, white
Eye: Hareline Aluminum Sea Eyes
Pupil: Hareline 3D oval eyes
Tail: Saltwater Yak Hair
Collar: Craft Fur, white
Flash: Ice Wing Fiber

Any variations of these two pike fly patterns in white, black, yellow or red should do the trick.

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4 Responses to Pike fly patterns: Fly tying videos before the Canada trip

  1. matt r says:

    Thanks, Matt. You’ve inspired some ideas for new taimen patterns. Your Big Eye Baitfish looks like it’d make a great lenok or grayling imitation. Have a good trip up north.

  2. Goyito says:

    Those are good-looking esoscid patterns, Matt. I would glue eyes on all baitfish patterns. Fishing muskies and pike in Wisconsin since 1962, we dinked around for years tying big flies with stinger hooks in order to get more hook-ups. When we ditched all that and started using eyes on short hooks about ten years ago, the hook-ups went from about 60 percent to 95 percent. I think you could have a twenty-inch fly tied on a short Owner tuna hook, and these fish would go straight to the prismatic eyeball and get hooked. Same thing with poppers–a single eye glued to the bottom of the popper takes the place of two eyes on the sides where fish are less likely to notice them. This style of tying really flings a cravin’ on big mean muskies, a fish which is scarce, so you need every grab to result in a hook-up. Greg R.

  3. larry manth iii says:

    I agree with Goyito

  4. mark says:

    where are you fishing in canada? i used to work somewhere that had the same boats, just wondering whether you are at Esnagami, or Esnagi.

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