Wondering if you might have a pattern preference when fly fishing for pike? I’m really only talking two styles of flies when I ask the question.
My experience (limited admittedly) is that these fish seem to prefer a slider/diver style pattern rather than a full “surface” popper.
Since Northerns aren’t found in most of my waters, I need your feedback. The few times I’ve fished with pike as the target, the diver style flies seem to be more attractive than a popper style. Again, very limited experience (or opportunities) for pike.
I have had the same experience though with their “cousins”, both pickerel and muskies. Not saying any of the family won’t grab a popper but seems that a diver or slider style works more effectively.
I can't help you much with flies. I generally fish them with spinning tackle. I have noticed that only if the water is very calm and at evenings they do like poppers in the shallows when the water starts to warm up. Despite this I catch way more in diving lures.
In the flies I do know the small ones like a crazy charlie stile fly I use for perch behind my home.
Hope is helpful and you can extrapolate from spinning to fly
I live within walking distance from a larger lake. The pike in "my" lake exclusively prefer copper flash flies, as big as I can cast them. I live on the eastern end of the lake, the wind here in Denmark blows mostly from a western direction and when it's strong the pike willingly take poppers cast to the very edge of the reeds, far from every pike stay hooked, but it's great fun.
I got a lot of them on spinning tackle and I had twitched the baits very hard and fast and the impacts on that are like hell on the lakes. I got some with popper flies on a small slow flowing creek. But in the morning from dawn until 10a.m. And all other on deceivers. I try my luck with sinking line s3 this year. I catch you up, if that works
Thanks for the feedback gentlemen. As mentioned, the only waters with indigenous pike are in watersheds on the other side of the state. A few closer, larger lakes have populations but again they are still hours away.
I make a double bladed spinner modeled after the Musky Mayhem Double Cowgirl spinner for my friends. These are really large lures and essentially nothing more than a double blade spinning lure with a hook dressed with almost an entire hank of flashabou. Slightly downsized, they are pike candy according to my friends who fish them in more northern waters (read Canadian lakes).
I was and am hoping for some comments regarding the favored fly style (diver/slider versus popper) when fly fishing for pike. Bass seem to prefer the surface poppers but pickerel and muskies seem to prefer the divers. Hope to hear more thoughts from others. Thanks.
Bill, I’ve done a bit of fly fishing for Pike just for money in return to get them out of the lake. That was a few years back. I used the Mamba Pike fly in a hot pink head with white body. Colors for Mamba can vary but, bright variety like chartreuse, pink, bright yellow to red and orange works. Mamba streamer sizes we used were about 5 to 6 inches long. I believe one of the ones were articulated but it doesn’t have to be. That is my go to fly for Pike.
Good day, i live in Northern Ontario and pikes are everywhere in our lakes here. I mostly get pike and perch when i cast my flies. From my personal experience with pike they tend to be alot more aggressive on bright and reflective colors/lures ( like the iconic Red Devil). I like to tie flies with bright red, white and sometimes blue marabou. (Wooly bugger style) Also, with there rows of shard teeth, a longer shank may be a better choice if you dont want to re-tie 10-12 flies a day. They like to live in vegetation so, small cast over and let it sink a bit and bring in the prize!!
Like has been said, I love Deceiver style streamers or any of the new similar patterns in various colors but flash is usually a great feature. Red and white deceiver with silver flash is great but some times olive or gray and white do well.
I tie a pike fly that has a tail of hackle normally 2-4 short and wide. Then I apply .30 weight. And I tie marabou top and bottom. And once I tie 4 marabou on I tie in rubber legs. After that I tie on another marabou. Then I use a red dumbbell eye any color works. Then I dub around the eye in the same color as the tail and marabou. Also a weed guard is optional. And if you have no dumbbell eyes you can use a tungsten cone head.
Hi Bill, both the poppers and sliders work pretty well but conditions are the bigger determinant more than anything in my opinion, and each have their spot in the fly box. Sliders/divers have a more subtle action and stay subsurface longer than poppers. For this reason I think they work a little better on average most days compared to poppers because pike bite them whether the fishing is slow or hot. That being said when the conditions favour top water, often once the water temps rise a little bit in the early summer and into the start of weed bed season, the poppers have their place. Another thing to mention is that poppers are probably a better searching fly than a slider. As you know flies generally can’t match the noise/vibration that conventional lures create (hence why they are often so effective on slow lethargic fish) so having something like a popper than can attract fish from a distance is a great way to locate fish if you are only sticking to the fly rod and aren’t planning on chucking spinners and jerkbaits on casting equipment to find them. My advice is keep a few of both on hand and let the fish decide- each day will be different. Some Dhalberg divers and some bobs bangers are a good place to start.
Bill no help here but can’t wait to see what you crank out. The closest we come on Caddo Lake or Lake O The Pines is a Jack or Chain Pickerel. Those things will eat anything. In the spring they look like a torpedo from a UBoat coming to get a top water fly.
Bill I live in pike country and any large flashy streamer will take pike. I’ve caught pike on almost every streamer pattern I own. They’re super aggressive and natural born killers. Just for an experiment one time I put treble hooks on a bottle opener and caught pike. Don’t over think northern fishing. You’re better off spending more time on location, water temperature and weather than being concerned about flies. They’ll take anything that flashes in front of them if the conditions are right. I won’t go into location, best weather or water temperatures because that wasn’t your question, but if you want to chat pike shoot me an e-mail. I believe you have my e-mail address.
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