Mustad Quality Hooks
Mustad has more than 100 years of fly hook experience. Many patterns still retained date back half a century. In spite of this long experience, Mustad's processes and technology have been continuously renewed and refined. The study of insects is fundamental in modern fly fishing, and is therefore an all important criteria in fly hook design. Mustad has combined entomology and hook making into a totally new approach to fly hooks. Hooks are designed to meet specific properties of the insect“s anatomy without compromising presentation and action in fishing.

Pike Bunny

Each month Mustad will present a fly here, featuring one of our hooks, complete with tying instructions and fishing suggestions. When you buy hooks we hope you will consider Mustad and Partridge first.

Read Al Campbell's review of Mustad Hooks in the Product Reviews

The Pike Bunny
By Jeff Pierce - AKA "Dr. Fish"

Jeff's Big Pike

The Pike Bunny is without a doubt on of the very best flies for catching Northern Pike. While some other patterns are also good for Pike, I have found the Pike Bunny to be, by far, the most effective fly, especially for BIG Pike. The Pike Bunny is also very effective for Musky, Bass, Cobia, Tarpon, Barracuda, Sharks and so on. Not only is it very effective, it is also very easy to tie and holds up very well to a lot of abuse.
 

Materials

Materials for Pike Bunny

    Hook:  - Mustad Signature All Around hook in 2/0 to 4/0 (S71S SS). The Mustad Ultra Point Denny Brauer Flippin Hook (32807BLN) in sizes 2/0 - 5/0 is also a good choice.

    Thread:  Danville Flymaster Plus in White.

    Tail and Body:  Rabbit strip in White.

    Head:   Rabbit strip in Red.

Tying Instructions:

Step 1. Start behind the eye and wrap a base of thread back to the start of the bend.

Step 2. Tie in the rabbit strip with around 6 inches of the strip extending past the bend for a tail. You'll need about 4 to 5 inches left to form the body. I like to wet the fur and part it with a bodkin. I make 8 or 10 very tight wraps to be sure it is secure. I then lift the forward portion of the rabbit strip and make a few tight wraps on the hook shank just forward of the attachment point.

Step 3. Wrap your thread back toward the eye, stopping ¾ of an inch for the eye. Now, begin palmering the rabbit strip tightly about the hook shank. Be careful not to trap the hair under the wraps as you go. Once you get about ¾ of an inch from the head, secure the rabbit with several tight wraps and trim off the excess.

Step 4. Tie in your red rabbit strip with just a bit of an overlap on the white fur. Wrap your thread to just behind the eye and now palmer the red rabbit up to the eye of the hook. Secure the rabbit with a few tight wraps and whip-finish.

Step 5. Apply some head cement and allow to dry. Now apply a couple of appropriately sized eyes. I then coat the head and eyes of the fly with Loon Hard Head. This will help to bombproof the fly. I feel the eyes do make a big difference, especially with very visual feeders like Pike. There is a very good reason why so many fish species have false eyespots on their tails.

Once the Hard Head is dry it's ready to fish!

Fishing Instructions

As mentioned above, the Pike Bunny is not limited to just Pike. It seems as though everything likes to eat this fly. While I have found the white body with the red head to be the very best color, lime/chartreuse with a red head is also very effective. An all orange version works well on the Pike some days and is a favorite of Sharks and Cobia.

I tie this fly in various sizes and fish them depending on conditions and the species targeted. Some days it seems as though the fish was something BIG. On those days I'm often fishing a P.B. with a tail as long as 8 inches tied on a 5/0 hook. On other days, the fish seem to want a smaller morsel or are short striking a lot. In that case I might scale back to a P.B that only has a 3-inch tail and is tied on a size 2/0 hook.

The great thing about the P.B. is that it looks so good in the water. It really looks like something swimming around and the fish just can't resist it. Typically, I'm fishing the fly with moderate paced short strips. If that does not seem to draw the strikes I will go to a very fast paced short strip and that often will elicit a strike.

While targeting Pike in shallow water bays I found a super slow approach was the ticket. The Pike were in a negative feeding mood and lay motionless on the bottom. I would cast the fly to the fish so that the fly settled on the bottom around 18 inches in front of the fish. Once it sat for a few seconds I would make a couple very short strips, just enough to barely move the fly a tiny bit. Many of these inactive Pike would then rise up off the bottom a few inches and angle themselves down toward the fly. Then, a couple 3-inch strips would often generate an impressive strike. This method got me hooked into more than a dozen Pike over 42 inches in one afternoon on my last trip up north.

When it comes to rigging the fly I stay away from wire if at all possible. Pike have excellent eyesight and I do not like to risk any refusals. I usually use a short 5-inch piece of 50lb Seaguar fluorocarbon as a bite guard. I very rarely ever get bitten off with that setup. That being said, if you are in monster Pike territory, I highly recommend that you use a 6" trace of Terminator wire. Pike over 40 inches can bite through fluorocarbon up to 80lbs with ease.

So round up some rabbit and some hooks and crank out a few Pike Bunnies. Most fish seem to take a liking to them and they are effective can be.

If you are interested in some world-class Pike fishing on the fly be sure to check out Camp Grayling (http://www.campgrayling.ca/home.htm). You can expect many shots at fish in the 40 inch to 50 inch range and there is a good chance you might hook into a Pike over that magical 50 inch mark. ~ Jeff Pierce

About Jeff Pierce

Jeff Pierce, AKA "Dr. Fish" is the Sales Manager of Fly-Fishing Products for O. Mustad & Son and Partridge of Redditch. When not in the office, he can be found chasing fish wherever possible. Whether it's Sailfish off Borneo, Payara in Brazil or Brook Trout in the Adirondack Mountains, you can bet that Jeff is no doubt casting flies to something that will bend a rod.

Previous Monthly Flies!

Scud
Zonked Squirrel Streamer
Hopper
Velcro Crab
Pike Bunny
Glo Bug
CDC Steelhead
CDC Caddis
JP's Minnow
The Alvin Fly
The Chromie
JP's Trout Snack
Big Mack
X-File Pupa
Jeff's EGGstravaganza
Jeff's Coho Candy
The Flamingo

Visit the O. Mustad & Son website for more information on our extensive line of hooks for fly tying!

O. Mustad & Sons (U.S.A.) Inc.
P.O. Box 838
253 Grant Avenue
Auburn, NY 13021
USA
Phone: (315) 253-2793
Fax: (315) 253-0157
Email.


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