Bittell Budgie looks really alive in the water and proved very successful on a recent trip, accounting for a few double figure pike. The fly is not an original pattern and uses techniques and materials widely in use for saltwater and pike flies (and a bit more subtly in salmon flies). Original inspiration to tie a pike fly came from the talk and demo at the WFD by the Hurford brothers. Also took inspiration from Dave Lindsay’s patterns and from this excellent video on tying a single wing flatwing.
I crush the barb on the hook to make it easier to extract from my face (fly fishing for pike on windy days can get a bit hairy).
Hook: Fulling Mill pike hook size 3/0
Thread: Danville’s flat waxed nylon 210 denier
Body: Hot orange bucktail
Back: Sea foam DNA frosty fish fibre
Tail: Pearl flashabou
Eyes: 8mm Crystal Gator eyes
Head: Devcon 5 minute epoxy
Tie in some flashabou for the tail (around 30 strands in the picture). The flashabou tail will extend beyond the bucktail body.
Take a pinch of bucktail and tie it in with a couple of loose wraps. Allow it to roll around the hook or coerce it by spreading it with your fingers. Apply a layer of varnish allowing it to soak into the thread and bucktail ends.
Add more bucktail in front of the last piece in a similar manner. Apply varnish.
And more bucktail… and again apply varnish
Take a pinch of the Frosty Fish Fiber and tie it in on top so that it extends beyond the bucktail but not as long as the tail.
Tie in a few shorter strands of flash (a little shorter than the length of the body) on the underside and place a pair of eyes where you want them. Using a little dot of superglue will stop them coming adrift when applying the epoxy.
Mix up a small amount of the epoxy. Avoid mixing too vigorously as this will introduce lots of little bubbles making the head cloudy. Cover the whole head area with the epoxy, filling the area between the eyes. Rotate the vice allowing the epoxy to evenly coat the whole head. Keep turning until the epoxy sets.
Thanks go to Stuart Nicol for providing the text and pictures for this article. Go to it chaps – it is a proven attractor for Pike! See previous post.