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Old 12-14-2013, 09:02 PM
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Default Big fly materials questions

The trout and panfish ties have been fun but I need to tie some big flies for next season now that I have some bigger gear. I intend to tie for bass,pike and salmon. I'm just looking for some advice so I don't buy too much stuff in the wrong sizes. I love to dream big but reality is most of my fish are going to be 2-7 pounds so we aren't tying he flies here.


Bass/Pike/Musky streamers, thought I would start with a few zonker strips. Proceed to some larger musky flies using synthethics

Hooks- Size 1-4 sound about right? Streamer hooks or some sort of saltwater hook? I assume about 4X-6X long?
Rabbit strips- 1/8 or 1/4 wide?
Coneheads- 1/4" should work for these hook sizes?
Articulation parts-Overwhelmed by the options and the descriptions are vague on the sites I am shopping, need very specific info in this.

Sculpin question- I don't even have a pattern in mind yet but what color are they? Olive-brown? Advice from Ard is needed here because he knows why I want to tie a sculpin pattern.

Salmon Streamers- Better leave that alone for now I guess before I try to do too much at once (again). They sure are cool flies though

Excuse my rudeness if I don't check back in this thread for awhile. I volunteered to drive 360 miles tomorrow and teach some Army stuff. See you guys on Monday and thanks.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: Big fly materials questions

I'll answer your questions as far as the bass, and esox are concerned.

If you're going to tie up some rabbit strip flies for bass and pike, I'd stick with a size 2-1/0 hook. Barry Renoylds pike bunny is a very effective fly. John Baars Meat Whistle is another killer. Those are tied on 90* jig hooks. I've had some of my best largemouth fishing come on the Meat Whistle fly. I always recommend the Gamakatsu B10-s hooks for most of my bass bug hook needs. As far as I'm concerned, they're the best hook for the money out there. I've got around 3-400 in my collection right now. Just as there is no such thing as "too much sugar", there is no such thing as too many B10S.

Musky flies are usually tied with 2/0+ hooks, and 2/0 would be a small trailer. Most of mine are tied on 6/0 hooks, with 4/0 trailers if I'm tying doubles. I tie most of mine on Patridge Universal Predator X hooks, and Gamakatsu SL12S hooks. There are a variety of hooks out there that you can use though. If your target is truly musky, don't skimp on the hooks. They're hard enough to catch without having to worry about bad iron.

If you want to articulate flies, get yourself a spool of Beadalon from your local hobby store. There are plenty of youtube videos out there showing you how to articulate flies. I strongly recommend you watch Brian Wise's fly tying videos. They're great.

Our sculpins in the driftless are brownish-olive. Erring more towards olive usually.



I don't know jack about salmon, so that's on someone else.

Rabbit strips I'd recommend getting in the 1/4", or magnum size. They fit that size hook better.


I might have rambled a little bit in this post. It's been a long week, and I've had one drink too many I think.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Big fly materials questions

Check out steel head alley fly tying blog. You'll get a lot of good ideas there
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Big fly materials questions

You don't really need to over think pike or bass... Aggressive predators that'll eat just about anything that passes their face... Clousers on bass hooks from #6-1/0 is plenty big enough for both... Red/yellow and fire tiger work great... The past couple years my biggest pike have come on #6 buggers... My largest bass on the fly to date came on a white meat whistle... Gartside's soft hackle streamer is another easy and effective bass fly...
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: Big fly materials questions

Thanks Ted, I've seen a few of the patterns you mention on the net. I'd like to tie one of your proven patterns as well. What size hooks would you suggest for smaller pike streamers? I know even little esox aren't at all hook shy, but you know what size pike I will be chasing when I can't get to good water. I will pay the price for good hooks. I just want to narrow it down some so I don't have to buy three variations of every size like I did for trout and pannies.

Itch, I just want to tie some streamers for the arsenal, And not buy 20 bags of good hooks that will last me 50 years. I guess I would like to buy about 4 sizes to cover the range and tie from their.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Big fly materials questions

Great advise already given. My hook range for bass is primarily from a 4 up to a 3/0, but Ted's range suggestion of 2 to 1/0 is a good place to get started.

I don't fish for Musky or Pike, and agree with him about using good hooks. When I tied Pike or Musky flies in my commercial tying days I used spinnerbait hooks or saltwater types. Never had anyone complain the hooks were an issue. However, I used mostly Owner, Gamakatsu or Mustad Ultra Point spinnerbait hooks and the same hooks in the saltwater styles I used for tying Tarpon flies. (Owner AKI, EC 254 & 254SS, EC L67, and Mustad 7766) The EC & Mustad had to be sharpened, but that also was not usually an issue.

Any of these hooks should be fine for average size Esox.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Big fly materials questions

If you want articulated I would check these out...

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Old 12-14-2013, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Big fly materials questions

I know we like to use our own flies whenever possible but for salmon and trout here I will have plenty of flies. I could begin telling you a materials list but it can run into a serious amount of money until you have everything, trust me on that one, I know.

I'll spend a lot of time over the winter tying Sculpins, Intruders (large & small) tube flies and standard trout and salmon flies. For the pike, the Sculpin minnows and leech's are very good too. The lake and the creeks are full of both. I caught a few fish late in the year, August - September on a large white bunny fur strip fly, but early on, June & July all I used was a Whitlock Sculpin in brown
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Old 12-14-2013, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Big fly materials questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ia_trouter View Post
Thanks Ted, I've seen a few of the patterns you mention on the net. I'd like to tie one of your proven patterns as well. What size hooks would you suggest for smaller pike streamers? I know even little esox aren't at all hook shy, but you know what size pike I will be chasing when I can't get to good water. I will pay the price for good hooks. I just want to narrow it down some so I don't have to buy three variations of every size like I did for trout and pannies.

Itch, I just want to tie some streamers for the arsenal, And not buy 20 bags of good hooks that will last me 50 years. I guess I would like to buy about 4 sizes to cover the range and tie from their.

Hook size won't be too important, but I generally use size 4-1/0 for most of my bass stuff, and 2-2/0 for the pike stuff. I catch a lot of fish on small wooly buggers (6-8).
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Old 12-14-2013, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Big fly materials questions

Flashtail Whistler is a fancy little pike fly I like to tie as well... Has yet to catch me a pike though
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