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.
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"
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.
- 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.
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
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!
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