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Steelhead & pike flies

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With pike (I can't comment on musky) you need to be prepared for the mood of the fish. Several authors comment on pike being neutral, on and off. When pike are on a simple piece of tin foil on a hook works. When fish are neutral you're looking to push buttons and when off you waste your time. I've danced a live bait fish on the nose of a pike that was off so I know that to be right.

So pushing the buttons, you want some flies with a solid profile that give that bait fish profile. Think non rattling crank baits. You want flies that have movement, dancing and teasing the fish without moving excessively. Think rubber worms that are just twitched. Sometimes you want a fly with a rattle or a big collar or a vane that gives lots of vibration, think rattling baits and mepps spinners. Surface flies that make a big splash and surface flies that are much more subtle too. Think sliders and poppers. Play around to see what switches the fish on.

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