pike fly fishing

Pike on Fly

Esox Lucius, Northern Pike

Pike (Esox lucius) is one of the UKs biggest native predators with the record weight at 50lbs & a very rewarding fish to fly fish for. The takes can be as subtle as a trout to aggressive takes, often taking the fly right by your feet!

Despite the bad boy reputation of Pike, they are in fact VERY fragile; so every care must be taken while fighting, landing, unhooking & releasing.

Below is a break down of things you’ll need to start targeting Pike on Fly.

Tips for Pike

  • Unhooking a Pike can be daunting, but once you have done it a few times. it gets much easier.
  • Leave the fish in the net, in the water while you get your unhooking equipment ready. If using a unhooking mat, make sure its wet as a dry surface damages the fishes slime coat that it needs to protect its self from infections.
  • Lift the fish out of the water with the net & gently lay the net on the ground or on to the unhooking mat.
  • Get on your knees, straddle the fish with its head out in front of you to stop it from flapping around.
  • Carefully roll the Pike on to its back. Carefully put your left hand fingers just under the fishes right side gill plate, Remember opposites your hand to fishes gill plate.
  • Slide your fingers up toward the chin & you’ll find a hard bony tongue.
  • Grip the tongue & lift the head towards you. This naturally opens the pikes mouth.
  • Using the long forceps or pliers, get a good grip on the fly & CAREFULLY remove.
  • Now its time to get the Pike back in the water to recover ASAP.
  • Lift the fish with your net back in to the water, use your hand to keep it upright for as long as it needs to recover; longer in Summer as the oxygen in the water is lower.
  • Once the fish is recovered, lower the net to let it go.
  • Check out THIS youtube vid as well, its also a very good idea for newcomers to Pike fishing to go with someone whos done this before for the first couple of trips.

For more infomation

  • Fly Fishing Association has a lot of experienced Pike on fly anglers to help you fine tune things. Link HERE
  • Why not try a Pike on fly introduction session if you can travel to the East Anglia Fens? You dont need to own a Pike fly rod as gear is provided.