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Fly Fishing for Pike - Essential Gears

Fly Fishing for Pike - Essential Gears

Pike are an ideal but often overlooked fish for fly anglers. Early in the season they eagerly take big streamers, before going deeper in search of cold water as summer progresses.

Recommended tackle includes a 9-foot, 8-weight rod spooled with a floating line. You don’t require tapered leaders—I generally use six or seven feet of straight 20-pound monofilament. Although it’s not absolutely necessary, I recommend using a wire tippet. There are commercial models designed specifically for fly anglers, or you can buy or tie flies with an incorporated wire leader.

A selection of typical pike flies.

As to flies, I’ve had great success with streamer patterns from five to 10 inches long. You can experiment to determine if pike are being colour-selective, although I’ve found that they’re usually not too picky. Still, my favourite colours include white, black and chartreuse. I’ve also had great success throwing large poppers and mouse patterns.

Other must-have gear includes polarized glasses; they allow you to see sunning fish, facilitating a spot and stalk approach. Long-nosed pliers are essential for safely removing hooks, as are jaw spreaders. In Manitoba barbless hooks are the rule. In my experience barbs aren’t required to help you stay connected to pike, but they can make it a challenge when extracting your fly. As such, I recommend pinching the barbs on your pike flies irrespective of where you’re fishing.

You can find leaders and tippets built specifically for pike at your local Fishin’ Hole store.

9 months ago
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