The world's best flyfishing site.
Tactics on pike!


Manual de Lanzado
Sección de Carlos
The Downloads


Monday: Paul Arden
Tuesday: Harps
Wednesday: Bernd Ziesche
Thursday: Mr T.
Friday: Ray
Saturday: Viking Lars
Sunday: Bruce Richards

Ronan's report

Wednesday 25 December, 2013

Now that I have been fly fishing for pike during the past 10 weeks every day 7-8 hours, I'd like to share a few tactical thoughts. Pikes opposite to many other species of fish usually will only strike your fly when being in a serious feeding mood. That can make it pretty tough to get a strike during non feeding periods, in which (opposite to most pike) only a very few pikes may be in a feeding mood. Mainly there are some key factors I concentrate on:

1) In which depth of water will the pikes mainly feed?

2) Water temperature?

3) What are they feeding on?

4) Water clarity?

5) Angling pressure?

6) What do other anglers fish with?

7) Followers or agressive takes?

Yes, there is a lot more to take into account. But this is meant to be a short front page offering a fair key to most (not all) pike fishing situations.

1) Where I have been fishing now, there have been a few days, in which most pikes were feeding near the surface. In most days pikes were feeding near the bottom. Especially in

2) cold water conditions that is what mostly happens. In warm water conditions (>7-8°C) pikes usually tend more often to feed in middle depth of water or even high up to the surface. Also cold water will force them to feed only once a day usually. Over the years it seems to me that the colder it gets, the closer to darkness the main feeding window (an hour no more) will be. Right now in my place the best catching window is half an hour before until darkness. So you better don't want to give up too early. Now you may think it too be pretty cold all day long (causing you to end your fishing a bit early). Personally I think it's not really cold until I need hot water to open my wading shoes in the evening. But even then I get my best pikes right before darkness!

3) Don't hesitate to fish pretty small flies for large pikes! If they are used to feed on small bait fish (which even very large pikes often do), then a small fly often will make your (catching) day!

4) Crystal clear water will ask you to fish with the thinnest titan leader you can get, while in muddy water you can use whatever steel wire you like. Additionally in general: The slower your retrieve has to be, the easier the pike will realize your leader! Also in crystal clear water I would completely avoid every kind of retrieve but a very soft on! Soft movements very often work best. Again in cold water: Be SLOW! (no, even SLOWER!) And that is where a floating line offers you the best deal for a very slow retrieve in combination with a slow sinking fly.

5) Be sure pikes are fast learners. If there is a serious angling pressure, then you should always aim for a different strategy. Most anglers are often angling pretty similuar. The one who has a different strategy/presentation often is the one who catches most!

6) Pikes soon get to identify flies and lures to be wrong by how they move (are they jigging?) and by colour as well. Again aim for different strategies.

7) Now if many pikes follow your fly before taking it (usually you feel one or more soft pulls before the main take), then you should change the retrieving speed! That can be slower or faster, depending on the circumstances. Change and you shall find out! A general hint: Strip more softly (fast or slow, but SOFT)! If you get agressive takes, you are spot-on!

Finally what are the main mistakes I see pike anglers doing mostly?

1) Presenting their fly too often in the same spot! Give it three casts, no more. If the pike wants to eat, and your tactic is right, he usually will be on in one cast. Better to move on and come back later. Always be in a move. Otherwise you are hammering the fish into the ground!

2) Stripping too fast and too agressive! Often soft and slow stripping will work best. Especialy now in cold water!

3) Underestimating small flies for large pikes. My personal favorite fly is the "Black Mamba" (a relatively small black rabbit zonker fly).

4) Using a sinking line not allowing for any slow retrieve. If I would have to choose one fly line, it would be a floating line. Upto 4meters water depth and cold water that is! In summer it's opposite. Sinking line for a much faster retrieve.

Hopefully I could offer a few thoughts to make you think a bit!?

As you may see in the pic of the day section am still in the middle of a shit load of fish. Had a fantastic Chrismas day fishing yesterday!

All my best


p.s.: Very effective often: One long (very soft) pull, followed by a short and little more agressive (but still not agressive) pull. Wait a second before starting the long pull. Start it slowly and then end it a slight bit faster. That stripping method has trippled my number of catches for sure!

Pic Of Day



SEXYLOOPS SCHOOLS - Flycasting in England and Hungary. Contact Paul Arden for more info.

Sexyloops on Facebook: Sexyloops on YouTube: www.YouTube/SexyloopsTV. This is Snapcast - our irregular monthly mailshot!

<-- Copyright Notice -->