I have found that in general pike will hit anything and that bigger pike do like bigger flies. So from that, for a big fly you can use anything, but wind resistance can be a factor. Now sometimes it happens that the pike are more cautious than normal and hits are few and far between. In that case I break out the rabbit strip flies. Really really deadly. Its the fact that they still move and undulate when the fly is still sitting in the same position. My fav rabbitbstrip pattern is this: mylar tubing/ez tubing for the body (Zonker style), with a long rabbit strp tied in at head and extending past bend of hook as a tail. If you want you can use a loop of heavy mono as a tail guard to prevent or lessen the strip wrapping around the hook. Anyway, to finish the fly, a small bunch of lighter colored rabbit under the fly extending just to or even slightly less than the length of the Tubing body. you are trying to get a nice baitfish profile so play with the length to get it the way you want. Add 3D eyes, head cement and done. My fav color is a gold mylar tubing body, olive barred back and orange belly. Honestly, very, very deadly.
Thanks for sharing your pattern, I will have to tie a few of those tonight. This past year I used a double bunny I tied on a wide gap worm hook to fish the shoreline weeds and did pretty well on the bass and small pike. The nice part was that I could throw it right into the heart of downed trees and just crawl it out without getting hung up (except on smallmouth). What is your favorite length on your fly when you are in boundary waters? Also what is the largest fly you would consider casting for trophy pike up there?
If im using the rabbit strip flies i like to keep them around 4", 5" max. Too hard to cast with an 8wt in larger sizes, no probs with a 9 or 10. But that is what i use for muskies and while I do that a lot with even much bigger flies, those are heavier rods and you can get tired out using one all day. On a backwoods trip I like an 8 and a 7 as you are out there several days and fishing hard so comfortable rods you can fish all day are important.
Honestly most times you can use most any reasonable pattern in 4-6" and rarely need to go bigger. BUT bigger flies will get the absolute biggest fish day in day out. So its a trade off. Also big is not just length but also moving water or footprint. So big deer hair heads on a resonable length fly, or lightweight superhair thatncan be castneasilymare also great patterns, prime example larry dahlberg's Super Diver.
Help keep the flying moose flying by supporting BWCA.com