Fly Fishing Pike In Clear Water

Fly Fishing Pike In Clear Water

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The last days we had nearly crystal clear water making it hard to fool the pikes. So we had to find proper solutions to get them eat our flies. Of course we did find some solutions!

Pike are fast learning fish. As soon as they get into serious angling pressure they learn to avoid getting hooked pretty fast. That's when the expert fisherman needs to have different ways how to catch them. The most successful technique usually is the one being fished the least.

The last days here on Rügen island we had zero wind and due to that the water was very clear. Totally unusual in this part of the world. Beaufort 5 is average wind here! Even one day without wind happens very rarely. Anyway pikes start seeing all kind of steel leaders in front of our flies when the water gets such clear.

The first step is to change from steel to the thinest possible titanium. That can bring some strikes back. Make sure you first learn how to use titanium! Otherwise you'll break off a lot of flies (mostly casting wise).

Then one has to increase the retrieving speed in order to make it harder to realize the leader in front of the fly.

Using a clear fly line also can help to increase the number of takes.

Fishing early and late in the day with LOW LIGHT is important in clear water. As soon as the sun is high the fishing slows down often.

Presenting the fly as near the bottom as possible is another key now. The deeper you get the lower the light level will be. All that helps to avoid pikes realizing something to be wrong with your fly and especially with what comes in front of your fly.

If you fish a drop off zone, stay away from the typical striking zone around it. Present your fly right into the striking zone while staying 10 meters (or more) away. Pikes come from quite a distance in clear water conditions unless the water temperature isn't below (let's say) 7° Celsius.

A long leader can bring you back into the game when fishing a colored fly line. Using a clear fly line a long leader in my experience isn't necessary. The short leader of course supports your soft presentation a lot. Casting long leaders and heavy pike flies is difficult.
By the way small flies are often an excellent choice in clear water!

Right now it's 6:30 am and I have to run into the next pike day!

Great fishing week to all of you! 

All my best

P.s.: Thanks Sebastian for your fine input. ;)