|Catching Pike on the Fly|
|Pike fly fishing essentials|
All though you have control over where you fish you have no control over the conditions. Water clarity is very important. You don’t want it too clear, especially if the skies are clear too because the Pike can spook easier. You don’t want water that’s too coloured either because Pike won’t see the fly, and all that enticing movement you’re putting into it will go to waste. Somewhere in between is ideal.
The beauty of Pike fishing is that you never know what you’re going to hook into – a 2lb ‘jack’ or a 20lb ‘big mama’. The element of surprise and anticipation fuels your angling spirit. So, make sure that you fish the fly right up to the edge of the water as Pike can appear suddenly from nowhere.
|Vision Big Mama 2.0 Flyrod|
|Redington Predator Fly Rod|
|Rio Pike/Musky Leader Knottable Wire|
|Redington Behemoth Fly Reel|
Investing in a purpose made Pike/Bigfly fly line is highly recommended. These have the right taper make up to make casting big flies much less of a chore. An intermediate is probably the line to begin with but there are other times where a floater or faster sinker will be required. A type 3 or 5 sinker is also useful if you are wanting to retrieve your flies on a deeper plane with a roly-poly retrieve – this can be deadly when the Pike are up for it.
|Guidline Pike Line Intermediate|
|Fulling Mill Dougie's Baitfish Perch|
|Highland Copper Comet Tube|
|Fulling Mill UV Flashtail Whistler|
|Dragon Acrylic Head Pike Fly|
If Pike turn away from your pattern, try a different colour. It often results in a positive take.
|Wiggle tails can add flash and vibration to a fly|
Pike will rocket up from the depth and hit your patterns with ferocious speed. When casting big flies, you must slow the cast down and allow the backcast to fully unfurl so that you feel the weight of the fly as the leader extends before making the forward cast.
When a Pike takes hold of your fly you must strike to set the hook because it can very easily let go again. Strip strike hard, and not with the rod. The flexibility in the rod won't allow the hook to set.
As you work the fly’s movement close in before lifting off to recast, be prepared for a super-fast lunge – Pike are built for powerful, short surges. The rest of the fight might be slow and deliberate, but you’ll know you’ve been in a scrap – that’s for sure.
Slow retrieves work well in the colder months and use quicker retrieves in the warmer ones. Vary the retrieve to impart movement on the fly and don’t be afraid to stop the fly, allowing it to sink.
|Smaller fish can be unhooked in the water|
A pair of forceps and unhooking mats are essential purchases as they not only keeps your fingers safe from the business end of the fish and keep the fish off the hard ground but having these items will speed up the unhooking process meaning less distress for the fish. When releasing Pike, make sure they can hold themselves upright before letting them go. When you feel the power return to the fish just let it swim off using your hands to gently cradle the fish in the water.
|Support Pike when releasing|
Investing in a pair of polarised sunglasses will also aid in your safety, keeping sharp hooks away from your eyes but you will also be able to stop the fish better.
Pike will take a fly all year round, but you may have season restrictions on your local venue and it’s generally accepted that they’re better left alone when they are spawning in the Spring. Post spawn (late Spring/early Summer) is a good time as they are looking to pack on weight and regain condition after the exertions of breeding. Then you have late Autumn when they are feeding hard in preparation for the leaner cold months ahead. In the Winter, just layer up, go deep and slow with your flies and you should still get some rod wrenching action!
Fishing should be fun and catching big predators on the fly is exactly that.
If you would like anymore information regarding fly fishing for Pike please visit us in store at either the Glasgow Angling Centre or the Edinburgh Angling Centre. Or call us on 0141 212 8880 and our expert staff will be happy to help.