Fly fishing for pike requires a little more practice and skill than either live bait or spoon fishing, but the time invested in learning the technique can pay off in big catches.
Fly fishing is traditionally done from the water's edge or standing in the water, though it can be done from a boat. This technique involves the use of an entire outfit of specialized equipment including rod, reel, fishing line and lure. While traditional fishing relies on the success of the lure or bait to attract a bite, fly fishing relies on casting technique.
Instead of casting a lure and reeling it back in, with fly fishing you cast a fly (a brightly colored, lightweight lure that floats on the top of the water. Then you continuously raise and lower the fly on and off the water in a casting technique called stripping.
When fishing for pike, use a forward-floating, heavier (8- or 9-pound) weight line and rod and a large fly. [sources: Akl, Macnair] Remember to situate yourself far enough from your target area to easily cast while not spooking the fish with your presence. Pike are known to strike flies at the last second, so do not be surprised to see the fish break the surface of the water going after your lure [source: Akl].
Fly fishing is a perfect technique for catching pike for a number of reasons:
- It is specifically designed for shallow-water fishing.
- Flies are so light that they rarely ever spook pike.
- The quick motion and bright colors of the fly stimulate the pikes' aggression, making them very likely to strike. [source: Barta]
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Akl, Jason. "Spring Pike Fly Fishing." Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Library.http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPage?storeId=10151&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&mode=article&objectID=30005 (Accessed: 11/13/08)
- Barta, Jim. "Northern Pike Strategies." Game & Fish.http://www.gameandfishmag.com/fishing/muskies-pike-fishing/gf_aa036901a/index.html (Accessed: 11/13/2008)
- Batin, Chris. "Alaska Northern Pike: They're not just called ugly anymore!" Alaska OutdoorsDirectory.http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/magazine/pike.htm (Accessed: 11/13/08)
- Fishresource. "Northern Pike."http://fishresource.com/fish/fish012.asp (Accessed: 11/13/08)
- Iowa DNR. "Northern Pike."http://www.iowadnr.com/fish/iafish/nop-card.html (Accessed: 11/13/08)
- Macnair, Doug. "Fly Fishing with Doug Macnair: Assembling the System Part 6: The Pike Family." Activeangler.http://www.activeangler.com/flyfishing-articles/macnair-assembly6.shtml (Accessed: 11/13/08)
- Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. "A Fishery Manager's Nightmare."http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/etiquette/illegalintro.html (Accessed 11/13/08)
- National History Museum. "The Emperor's Pike."http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/online-exhibitions/art-themes/caught_in_oils/more/pike_more_info.htm (Accessed 11/13/08)
- Shamess, Tim. "Spoon Fed Pike." Ontario Pike Fishing.http://www.ontariopikefishing.com/spoon.html (Accessed: 11/13/08)
- Take Me Fishing. "Fishing Techniques."http://www.takemefishing.org/fishing/fishopedia/how-to-fish/fishing-techniques (Accessed: 11/13/08)
- Take Me Fishing. "Lures, Rigs & Tackle."http://www.takemefishing.org/fishing/fishopedia/bait-and-equipment/lures-and-rigs/lures (Accessed 11/13/08)
- Take Me Fishing. "Northern Pike." Fishopedia.http://www.takemefishing.ord/fishing/fishopedia/species-explorer/details/overview/fish/northern-pike (Accessed 11/13/08)
- Take Me Fishing. " Other Tackle." Lures, Rigs, & Tackle.http://www.takemefishing.org/fishing/fishopedia/bait-and-equipment/lures-and-rigs/other-tackle (Accessed: 11/13/08)
- Vick, Noel. "Tactics for Big Spring Pike." Game & Fish. (Accessed: 11/10/08)http://www.gameandfishmag.com/fishing/muskies-pike-fishing/gf_aa036702a/index.html