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What are the best flies to use for pike and muskie

1774 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Neal/CO
I am just wondering what you guys have been catching pike and muskie on. ???
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Never caught a Musky on a fly, but for pike i tend to like bunny leeches tied on a 3/0 saltwater hook..(Umpqua 811S is my favorite) you can fish it deep or shallow, and they look great in the water. they are like casting a wet sock sometimes, and you need at least a fast 7 weight to do it---preferably a 9 wt. as far as durability...they last a long long time. its basically just some rabbit fur strips on a hook, with lots of superglue and 3/0 thread and an epoxy head if you want to get fancy..i tie them about 5 inches long with yellow eyes and some krystal flash in the tail.

for color? i go either light or and purple, or chartruese or yellow. sometimes a red an white on is a good pattern, but for the most part i dont think pike get too picky....not about color anyways. retrieve? thats a whole other subject...
I use hard mono also...about a 5 or 6 ft section will work and will turn over heavy pike flies. dont expect a nice subtle presentation, its gonna basically "plop" a fly into the works better than wire though, and is alot easier to use. with 25# hard mono i use a "figure 8" knot to tie on flies...never had a fish bite me off yet. you can buy a spool of 25 yards for a few bucks, its not too expensive and lasts a long time.
lol...nothing too fancy. i start with a slow retrieve if the water is cooler, like in the mornings and the water temp is below 52, and speed it up as the water warms up to the mid 50s. i use a 10 to 12 inch strip, fairly erratic with my rod tip low. very your speed and lenght of retrieve if you dont get hits. if i see a fish follow and not strike (and if there are fish in the area you eventually will) use a side jerk to get it into thier vision so they will strike. sometimes they follow so close they dont see your fly due to the position of thier eyes on the sides of their head...a blind spot directly in front or something. keep the fly moving. i generally look for a weedy dark bottom, and wade quietly. its not hard to walk up on fish once you learn what to look for. if you get a fish in your area they sometimes stay for awhile...the biggest pike i ever caught i fished to for about 15 minutes before he finally took the fly...right underneath the boat in about 4 feet of water. with a bunny leech, a hard mono leader of about 5 feet, and floating line you can get the fly deep enough to put it in thier strike zone in 3 or 4 feet of water..this is generally what you end up fishing when they come in the shallows to in early summer. sorry, i dont have any "secret retrieve" techniques...most of its pretty basic....

heres a poor picture of one pushing 45 inches...

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