Fish target - Pike
Not all fly fishers have the means or the financial resources to pursue their passion on expensive waters or waters far from home. A good alternative is fly fishing for non-salmonids, which is often possible on local waters. In addition to target fish such as chub, carp, barbel or perch, pike in particular can be well outfoxed with the fly. Pike often pounce aggressively on a streamer or popper and usually deliver spectacular scenes during the drill. Therefore, it is not surprising that more and more fly fishers feel the desire to try it once on pike. To make it easier for you to get started, we have put together some tips here.
Even if the trade offers many rods as special "predator " or "pike rods", this is not necessary. A rod of class 8-10 is ideal. In pike fishing, besides the class, the action of the rod is crucial. The rod has the task of bringing the relatively heavy lines to high speed with large and heavy streamers. Therefore, the rod should have a powerful and rather fast action. In terms of length, 9 feet (2.70m) is usually sufficient. When wade fishing and fishing from a belly boat, a longer rod of 10 feet (3.00m) can be advantageous. We often use a 9 rod in a length of 10 feet for pike fishing, with it we manage well in most situations. See here!
When choosing a reel, keep in mind that a pike does not make a big run after biting. Therefore, you do not need a saltwater-resistant high-end reel with high-performance brakes. It is enough if the reel matches the weight of the rod and has enough capacity for the usually thicker lines. Much Backing is also not needed, unless it is to be expected also with Catfish...
For fly fishing for pike, a variety of special lines have been developed in recent years, which are used depending on the water or water zone. The lines are designed to carry large, heavy and bushy flies a long way even in adverse conditions. They are usually WF (weight forward) lines with short and heavy clubs in the front section.
In shallow areas or on shallow waters a floating fly line is used (Floating).
Universeller einsetzbar sind Intermediate-Schnüre mit einer langsamen Sinkrate von 1-3 ips (= inch per second). Mit ihr können flachere Gewässerzonen befischt werden, man kann sie aber auch entsprechend länger sinken lassen und so tiefer fischen. Beim Fischen mit einer Schwimm- oder Intermediateschnur verwendet man häufig Vorfächer mit einer Länge von ca. 2,50 m, bei sehr flachem Wasser auch bis 3,00 m.
In deeper parts of the water, leaders with a length of approx. 1.5 m are used. In deeper parts of the water, lines with sink rates of 4 ips to 7 ips are used, sinking overall or with a sink tip. The higher the sink rate, the heavier the line. Casting with very heavy lines can be a real challenge....
The heavier the line, the shorter the entire leader should be. The background is that the line tip sinks faster under water than the leader with the fly. This creates an arc and the fly runs much flatter than the line.
The leader has three tasks when fly fishing for pike. First, it should connect the casting line to the fly and second, it should prevent the pike from cutting the leader with its sharp teeth. Thirdly, it should be as unobtrusive as possible, at least in clear waters.
The following setup has proven successful: A piece of 0.35 -0.50 monofilament line is attached directly to the fly line, either by a loop or by means of a nail-bait. The leader tip is attached to the monofilament, either by knotting or by using a Pitzenbauer ring. A small but strong carabiner or fastach clip is attached to the end of the leader tip.
For the leader tip you have the choice between hardmono, fluorocarbon, steel and titanium:
The biggest advantage of hardmono or fluorocarbon (FC) is that the pike cannot see the material. It is also relatively inexpensive. A disadvantage of this material is that it may be bitten through by the pike during the drill. Therefore, the thickness of the hardmono or fluorocarbon should be at least 0.80 mm. Nevertheless, Hardmono or FC is rejected by many fly fishermen, because a tear-off cannot be 100% excluded.
Steel leaders are made of braided thin steel threads and cannot be bitten through by pike. Therefore, they are considered very safe for pike. Multi-strand steel braid (7x7) is supple and knots easily. The disadvantage of steel is that it tends to curl and is more visible to the pike than mono or FC.
Titanium is the strongest of the leader materials. It is more durable than steel and does not pull threads. However, its disadvantage is that it is difficult to knot and very rigid. Even though it is the most expensive of the leader materials, for us titanium is the absolute favorite for pike fishing.
Pike flies do not imitate insects, but fish, frogs or similar prey. Therefore, they differ from other flies by their sheer size alone. Most pike flies are between 12 and 25 cm long and are tied on hooks of size 2 to 6/0. Pike streamers are usually presented underwater, while poppers are used on the water surface. The choice of fly is a bit more demanding. In clear water we use black flies with a natural pattern. In murkier water, we relied on stimulus colors to attract the pike. Most often we use orange or neon green colors. As for size,
we always say "the bigger the lure, the bigger the fish". However, if the fish are hesitant or there is a lot of fry in the food supply at the moment, they prefer to take small flies. If they are in a feeding mood, they will take all types of flies.
Conclusion - I hope our article has helped you to get started with fly fishing for pike. If you have any questions about this article, feel free to email us or message us on Instagram. Tight Lines! - Your Flyfishingcrewbavaria.