Using the Perfect Fly Swimming Shad For Northern Pike And Muskie
The Perfect Fly Swimming Shad is one of the best flies ever designed for Northern Pike
and Muskie. It has proven very effective for both species as well as many other closely
related species such as members of the pickerel family of fish. It not only imitates shad, it
also imitates many other white belly baitfish that inhibit the waters of lakes, rivers and
reservoirs in the North Country where pike and musky live.
This fly is extremely durable and the sharp teeth of these predators won't quickly destroy
the fly like they will many others. They are made mostly of rabbit strips.
Cast the fly towards a weed line, or reeds along a bank, allowing it to get as close as
possible without hanging. Give it some time to sink. Start a very quick retrieve, jerking the
fly in short jerks of just a few inches. This will add a lot of action to the fly and make it
appear to be a wounded or injured baitfish. This retrieve usually works but it not, start
stripping it in one to two foot strips. Every once in a while stop the fly dead and let it fall.
Hold on to the rod because often the pike or musky will try to take it out of your hands
when they hit it. Usually you can see the fish or the wake from it taking it.
This fly is best fished on an eight weight sinking or sinking tip fly line. It depends on the
depth of water you are fishing. You should use at least an eight fool long leader made of
twenty to thirty pound test mono. Use a short length of about 18 inches of twisted steel
strand wire for the bite leader. An Albright knot works fine for this.
You can adjust the weight of the fly by adding split shot if necessary to fish deeper water.
Place it just above the wire leader on the mono. You want to avoid using added weight. If
possible, get the fly deep enough using the right type of fly line. Added weight should
only be used when you don't have the right line for the depth of the water you are fishing.
Alternate these two types of retrieves until you can determine which one is working the
best. Often Northern Pike, and especially the Muskie, will only take the fly when it's
retrieved a certain way. The exact retrieves can make a big difference in triggering a
strike. If you notice the fish following the fly and not taking it, speed up the retrieve. Don't
stop it at first. If they don't charge and take it, you may try stopping it and allowing it to fall
but most of the time speeding it up very fast works the best.
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
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