This is a pulsing, slow sinking fly that is easy to tie in various colours. Apart from the jungle cock cheeks, all materials are cheap and easily obtained. The tail should be dressed lightly with a good dose of flash, while the fox head carries more weight, but also an excellent jolt of movement when you give the fly any sudden twitch.
Is jungle cock a bit OTT for a pike fly? I don’t think so, although of course the fly will work without. I tend to use the bigger, less pretty bits from a jungle cock cape. It’s no tragedy if they’re slightly split, or too bug for your trout and salmon flies. The secondary feathers are also excellent to make contrasting cheeks- as you can see from the variants at the end of the pics below.
My favourite colour scheme is loud chartreuse body with a black head. White and red is also classic however- or invent your own. Do try and flare out the materials rather than applying bulky dressings that make for heavy, hard to cast flies. Another good tip is to apply some varnish/ head cement at intervals to toughen things up.
Hook: Sakuma Phantom, size 1-1/0 Thread
Thread: Kevlar, black
Tail: Turrall Savage hair (chartreuse), plus a pinch of any UV flash material
Wing: Black arctic fox (Foy Tails)
Head: 5 min Epoxy, plus 10mm 3D eyes
STEP BY STEP
1. Catch the thread onto the hook shank, before giving a good, tight covering of thread to the front third behind the eye.
2. Now take a length of Savage Hair (which is conveniently about twice the length of the fly we want to create). Mix in a few strands of UV tinsel.
3. Now tie in the fibres at around the half way mark in the material. Take a few tight wraps.
4. Now double the forward facing materials back like this, clamping down again. Fluff out the fibres while you pinch them in place, before clamping down with the thread.
5. Now for the jungle cock. Take a pair of slips and tie in as shown. The exact proportions are up to you, but do leave some space for the head (otherwise those lovely colours will be masked by the fox hair we are about to apply).
6. Put some varnish onto the front third of the hook shank, before taking a decent pinch of fox hair. Take just one wrap of thread around it, before carefully fanning the materials round the hook evenly like this.
7. Now cover the ends with tight turns of thread, taking plenty to make an even head.
8. Now tie off, trim and mix up some 5 minute epoxy. Apply this generously just behind the eye of the hook, also adding some to the sides of the fox. This helps to make a secure head and stick any stray fibres in place. The eyes are your choice, but I like mine to be a little exaggerated (these are 10mm). You might want to crush the barb before you go fishing.
VARIANTS: You needn’t follow my recipe to the letter- but this is a very easy tie and can easily be rendered in various colours and sizes. I find the fly best for shallow water fishing, because the bushy head creates a fairly slow sinker that pushes a lot of water. Ideal for hanging and tweaking through gaps in the weed. I tend to keep the retrieve erratic, but not hurried.