A “walk the dog” style bait, or glide bait, has been a staple in conventional musky anglers’ boxes for years, and for many good reasons. First, glide baits push significant water—key to piquing the initial interest of nearby fish. Next, the side-to-side swimming action shows the full profile of a potential meal many times during a single retrieve, giving a following musky ample opportunities to T-bone the bait. Finally, from the angler’s point of view, glide baits are incredibly satisfying to watch, which is key in keeping anglers’ heads in the game during a long day of casting.
That all said, creating this same glide action in fly form poses many challenges. A good glide-style fly must have three things going for it if it’s going to do its job properly:
- 1) The materials must increase in density going from the tail to head of the fly. This will result in a fly that pushes water on the strip and kicks the fly to the side on the pause.
- 2) The front 2/3 of the fly must be composed of a rigid structure. This prevents “crumpling” as the fly pauses, and allows the full length of the fly to turn and glide.
- 3) The fly must be properly balanced, with most of the weight placed just behind the head of the fly. This prevents the fly from kicking nose-up and further helps keep a horizontal suspension on the pause.
Rear hook—5/0 Gamakatsu Spinnerbait
Middle shank—Flymen 80mm Big Game
Front hook—6/0 Kona BGC
Body—Hareline Large Northern Bucktail
Tail—Hareline Grizzly Saddle
Flash—Tinsel Flashabou/Holographic Flashabou
Thread—Veevus 150 denier GSP
Weight—.025 lead wire