Black Pennell

Originally created as a lake fly in 1860 as a midge imitation. It is also just as effective on the rivers. A must have pattern for any wet fly angler on the rivers or lakes.

Pike Fly SBS Tutorial

This is a step by step tutorial for how to tie a very simple but very effective pike fly.

Before I start there’s some things to consider when it comes to tying any pike fly. It must be light so it’s easy to cast but it must also have enough bulk to give the right shape and silhouette of a bait fish. There are a couple of things we can do to help achieve this. We can use materials that repel water and don’t become heavier by absorbing water when the fly gets wet. Also we use the least amount of materials as possible to tie the fly. In order to be able to get away with using less materials yet still get the right bulky shape we tie in a style called “hollow tie” which I will explain as I go through the steps. Another reason we need to try to use as little materials as possible is so that the fly will have plenty of movement in the water and not just be a thick mass of materials with little or no movement, otherwise we might as well just be fishing lures instead and would need a stiff rod to try to impart some kind of movement into the fly which would defeat the whole purpose of fly fishing for pike.

As this tutorial is aimed at beginners I’m using the most basic and most common materials available.

As you can see in the pic above I’m using a Sakuma Manta 545 hook in size 5/0 which is the most common hook size for pike flies.

Normally I would use a kevlar thread but for illustration purposes I’m using a cheap thread from Lidl which in all honesty is perfectly fine for the job so long as you apply a coat of varnish after each tying step which I always do anyway no matter what thread I’m using.

For the flash pretty much any kind of flash on the market will do. Here I’m using FAP Sparkle in pearl colour.

The dubbing can be any kind of dubbing you have to hand. I’m using white to help it blend in with the fly.

The material for the wing can be any kind of pike fly fiber such as EP Fiber etc. I’m using Sybai Slinky Hair in pink and white.

The clear varnish is used to coat the thread after every time you tie in a material to help make the fly more durable so it can withstand the sharp teeth from pike.

Some 12mm eyes and some UHU Power Glue and you’re good to go. Any colour eyes will do but personally I prefer silver or yellow for the pink and white fly but that’s just personal preference.


Start your thread a couple of millimeters back from the eye of the hook and wind the thread back to one third of the hook shank. Apply a coat of varnish to protect the thread.

Create a dubbing noodle and wind it on

End your dubbing roughly 2/3 of the way up the thread wraps that you already laid down at the beginning.

Tie in your flash 60/40. Which means 60% of the flash should be back towards the bend of the hook and 40% should be towards the eye of the hook

Fold the 40% end back over the 60% end and lock in place with a few tight thread wraps. This helps give a nice natural taper.

Coat the exposed thread with varnish.

Take a slim piece of the pink fiber and again tie it in 60/40 on the top of the hook shank with just one or two turns of thread to hold it in place

Repeat the process underneath the hook shank with the white fiber. And again only one or two thread turns to hold it in place

Fold the 40% part of the pink material back over the 60% part on the top half of the hook shank. This is what’s called hollow tying which is what gives you the bulk as well as a nice tapered natural fish shape

Repeat the process with the white material underneath

Lock it in with a few tight thread wraps very close to the materials.

Coat the exposed thread with varnish

Take another bunch of the pink material and this time cut it in half and put both halves together to form one thicker shorter piece than what you first tied in. This helps to give a nice natural looking taper and bait fish shape.

Tease the ends by pulling a couple of strands at a time to help taper the materials so it’s not square looking

Again tie it in 60/40 on top

Take a similar amount of your white material and again cut it in half, put both halves together and tease out the ends to taper it

Again tie it in 60/40 ready to be hollow tied

Fold the top pink part back on itself and the same for the bottom white part

Again build up a dam of tight thread wraps to lock everything in place and give the exposed thread a coat of varnish

Take your UHU Power Glue (or whatever waterproof glue you have) and put a generous amount on one of the eyes

Press the eye firmly onto the material

Repeat the process on the other side ensuring both eyes are symetrically matching. Then leave to dry for at least 12 hours

There you have it, a simple pike fly with plenty of movement and nice and light so you can cast it all day long without tiring your casting arm.

Orange And Gold Shrimp Fly

A classic Irish Shrimp Fly

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