Pike on the fly like a bear on a picnic basket
I’ve been a serious pike angler for the last 15 years and have chased them on many different bodies of water, from lakes to rivers, the U.S. to Canada and one thing is always the same…big pike can be finicky! I love fishing for pike with big muskie spinners, spoons and top water lures but most of the time if you want to target big pike you need to break out the 8 wt and start casting some Big Ole streamer patterns!
Tazin Lake Lodge in Northern Saskatchewan is famous for big Pike and Lake Trout but the fish rarely see a fly. As we made our way to a perfect little pike bay on the southern end of the lake our buddy Jason told us that this bay had some huge pike. They should be laying in some deadfall on a high spot in between two 60 foot deep holes, it was just a matter of getting them to eat. We started working the area with some favorite “searching” baits and Muskie spinners, trying to locate where the fish wanted to be. After launching our spinners on some long casts and working them over the area, BAM!!!! Dreu hooked the first fish right over top of some deadfall. I grabbed my fly rod and started working a Fulling Mill Buss Ticket on a dry line just under the surface, fairly slow with a twitch, kicking it side to side. The pike started going nuts for it, like a bear on a picnic basket.
They would eat the spinner too but watching them eat a fly with reckless abandon from the depths was such an amazing sight! It also clued us in to knowing the fly rod was the way to go. Dreu quickly switched to a Low Fat Minnow Shad and a sinking tip but after about 6 rejections from fish right at the boat he changed again to a Flaming Lamborgini. The bright red color started hammering fish. The fish were coming from all angles to attack the wounded baitfish sliding through their personal space and it wasn’t long until we hooked the first “big girl” of the trip. I was fighting a nice 36” ish pike and Dreu hooked up. About the time I got mine to the boat he said “better hurry up and unhook yours because mine is about to eat it”. As the crew and I started laughing I got mine unhooked and landed his, boasting a monster 44” pike! We landed 4 pike over 40” with one at 46” because we went a little “unconventional” and started throwing the fly rods at em! The rest of the week the Pike fell victim to the flies and I might mention, I ended the trip with the same fly I started with!