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Fly Fishing for Pike by Sportfish

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Pike - photo courtesy of Sportfish Pike - photo courtesy of Sportfish

'Tis the season where abandoning the size 18 nymphs in favour of flies measured in inches makes more sense as the predatory pike becomes a prime autumn and winter target on fisheries across the UK, especially some of the trout waters.

As the weather gets cooler our thoughts turn to the ultimate freshwater predator. The history of pike fly fishing goes back a long way and until recently has been an esoteric pleasure for a select few. In recent times it has received considerable publicity and is now a popular part of many fly anglers seasonal calendar. The attraction is the chance to tangle with some big wild fish in winter when most other traditional types of fly fishing are out of season. Pike can be caught in a variety of waters - rivers, lakes, canals and drains, much of this will be inexpensive or free to access. In some instances it is possible to fish reservoirs better known for trout fishing such as Chew, Grafham and Rutland - home to some huge pike.

Tackle is a little specialist - the rod should be suited to a #9 or #10 line, this is to cast the large flies pike love. Most anglers use a fly rod originally designed for saltwater fishing. A couple of choices of line densities are very useful; certainly include a floater and an intermediate or slow sink. It is essential to use a wire bite trace - a pike´s teeth will cut through any nylon or fluorocarbon like a knife. We recommend a 12" length of a knotable bite leader tied directly to a length of 20lb+ fluorocarbon to give an overall leader length of 8´ to 9´. A quality disc drag reel capable of holding the fly line plus 100yds of 30lb backing is perfect. You will also need a pair of long nosed pliers for unhooking and a protective glove. We recommend a large landing net and ideally one that has built in scales. Pike are surprisingly delicate - use barbless hooks and return fish quickly and carefully to the water.

When fishing, look for any obvious features where pike could ambush their prey. At this time of year look for shoals of fry - find these and the pike will be nearby. Because of the unique presentation options offered by fly fishing you can fish confidently on all waters that hold pike. We have often out fished both bait and lure fishers. Don´t be afraid to fish the fly very slowly - this can be the key to success particularly if it´s cold.

For more information about pike fly fishing please call any of our stores or click on the image below to visit our website for our recommended Pike fly fishing gear.


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