Fly Fishing For Pike – Part 1

Fly fishing for pike has become a welcome relief as traditionally during the short days and freezing temperatures of winter the fly angler hung up their waders in anticipation of the coming spring but now more and more these anglers are craving all year round rod bending action and there is no more perfect fix for this craving than pike on the fly!

I have caught pike on lure rods in the past but can honestly say that the most exciting way of catching them for me is on the fly rod, purely down to the fact that there is so much more feel from having the line in your hand as a pike savages your fly and makes its first powerful run, its sure to get your adrenalin pumping! So if you fancy having a go with some explosive pike action I will try and guide you with some information and ideas on what equipment you will need and how to catch these toothy specimens.

Firstly you will need kit that’s up to the job. By this I mean a powerful rod to subdue these powerful fish, coupled with a reel with a decent drag system to halt the fish’s run for freedom and a fly line that’s heavy enough to turn over some big flies. One bonus with the kit is that it will be suitable for saltwater fly fishing so adding another string to your bow.

In terms of a rod you should be looking for something around the 9’ mark in length that is rated for a 9 or 10 weight line. Don’t forget you will be casting some heavy flies with loads of air resistance so this weight of line will help you get your fly out there to the fish, the line weight has nothing to do with the size of fish you will be catching, this is a question I often get asked by the fly fishing novice. Also make sure your reel is loaded with plenty of backing, if you hook a specimen you will need it!

To the fly line you will need to attach a leader of minimum 20lb breaking strain and of around 6’ to 8’ in length, again this short heavy leader will aid in turning over your fly when cast. Another essential you will need is a wire tippet material to attach to your leader before you tie on the fly. The mouth of a pike is loaded with rows of razor sharp teeth rendering standard tippet material useless, they will bite through this for a past time. I add a length of around 12” of wire to my leader then a snap swivel to attach my fly with, this makes for easy fly changes throughout the session without sacrificing the length of my wire tippet.

Other kit you should carry with you is a selection of flies in various colours and sizes, a decent size knotless landing net, an unhooking mat, essential for the well being of the fish and a good pair of large forceps for removing the hook, keep your fingers away from those teeth! As with all forms of fly fishing always wear a hat and glasses, especially so when piking as sometimes these big flies are unpredictable in their flight path as you cast.