The Tamer (SBS)

My Most Successful Fly This Season

I love tying pike flies, they can be so beautiful and so ugly, the range of materials that can be used is amazing. A lot of people deliberate over natural materials or synthetic, how quickly they shed water, weight, how much movement they have and expense. The pike has an aggressive strike, and a mouth full of 700 teeth so is it worth spending the money on materials if the fly will get obliterated after a couple of successful swims.

Over the years I have tried different materials, techniques and designs to create my pike flies, and eventually I have settled on a design that I feel is one of the ultimate flies for pike. It has been one of my most successful flies so far, both me, my husband and our friends have all caught our PB's on this fly this season. I want to share this fly with you, and have put together some SBS photographs to show case the sequence of tying required to make this deadly fly. I call it The Tamer.

 Hook: Partridge Absolute predator 6/0
 Tail: Sybai sparkle flash & Flashabou
 Tail pt 2: Foxy Tails Nayat , Flash as above and Grizzle hackles
 Mid section: Flat Braid
 Wing: Foxy Tails Nayat
 Head: Two contrasting colours - Foxy Tails Shadow Fox
 Eyes: 3D Epoxy eyes size 10mm finished with Bug Bond

I choose to tie using natural materials such as Nayat and Shaddow fox, these can be purchased from Foxy Tails, and they come in a huge variety of colours. I find these materials have the most amazing motion when in the water, they totally give the fly life.

What I find with a lot of synthetic flies is,  to achieve a great silhouette a lot of material is added to the fly and this to me kills its action, but this does of course depend on the synthetic. To give the fly a great profile, without adding extra material and therefore adding to the weight of the fly, I back tie the fur. This helps to maintain the profile, without effecting its ability to move well and remains light even when wet.

1) I use the Partridge Absolute Predator hook in 6/0. This is a barbless hook and is a wire not a forged hook, and I have found it to be an exceptional hook. I find if you strike well and keep the line tight at all times this hook works well, and it is super easy to unhook for quick catch and release, especially if the fish is a greedy one and engulfed the fly!

2) I use GSP thread, I can be quite heavy handed when securing the materials and it wont break. Attach the tread approximately two thirds down the shank and secure some flash material, I use a mixture of Sybai sparkle flash, Flashabou and castle feathers flash. For this fly I will be using a mix of holographic, pink and silver flash. Tie in and ensure they are mixed well and are spread evenly. I use my vice as a guide to the length, I make sure the flash reaches the end of my regal, as in the photo. Secure with a blob of varnish.

3) Choose an appropriate coloured deer hair, cut some soft fibres and tie in with the tips facing towards the eye, ensure this is spread evenly around the hook, secure tightly to flare the fibres slightly, trim the butts off and add a blob of varnish.

4) Push the fibres back towards the tail of the fly. It can be useful to have a tool to do this, I use a spent .243 bullet case my husband left laying around!

5) Secure the buck tail with turns of thread in a cone in front, I wax the GSP here as it can be slippery, be careful not to turn the thread over the fibres as this will affect the way they flair and consequently the way the rest of the materials lie.   

6) Prepare some nayat, cut from the pelt and remove the underfur from the butt ends using a brush, I use a flea comb. Tie in the nayat as the buck tail above with tips towards the eye, ensure evenly spread around the hook, and fold back and secure in place. Place a drop of varnish on the thread.

7) Prepare another mix of flash, tie in so the tips reach to the end of the nayat, spread them as evenly as possible. Fold the remaining flash stretching towards the eye back towards the tail and tie in. Secure with varnish.

8) Choose some saddle hackles, these must complement the main colour of the fly, these can be plain or grizzle. These should reach to the end of the tail.

9) Wind the thread forward and tie in some flat braid secure and varnish.

10) This is where the main colour of the fly is tied in, again select and prepare some nayat as before. Measure it up against the fly so not to reach completely to the tips of the previous nayat. Back tie in evenly with tips facing towards the eye as before.

11) Fold back the nayat and secure in place with a cone of thread. Again be careful not to wrap the thread over the fibres. Secure the thread with varnish.

12) Prepare some shadow fox of complementary colour, comb out the butt ends to remove excess fur and back tie as all previous materials, secure with a cone of thread and varnish.

13) Repeat the process again with a contrasting colour, and whip finish.

14) I like to colour the head of thread to match, GSP takes up felt tip well. Finish with varnish.

15) I use 10mm epoxy eyes, glue in place and finish with a head of Bug Bond

The finished Tamer.

This white, pink and black tamer has been my most successful colour, but I have also had good sized pike on white, purple and black tamers, chartreuse, and black tamers and jack pike imitation tamers.

Applying bug bond to the head provides weight to the fly, when fished this gives extra movement to the fly. The Tamer can also be tied on tube, but I find these are more reluctant to sink and so I place a free running cone on the leader to assist here.

This is an A class fly, give it a go I promise you will not be disappointed!

Jo x