How to present the fly to Pike perch

How to present the fly to Pike perch

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Pike perch are usually feeding near as well as directly on the bottom. Thus presenting the fly down deep is a key factor to catch these fish. I fly fished and compared different methods how to get the fly to the pike perch.

Method #1 = heavy sinking line + heavy fly

Method #2 = Skagit system (short and heavy floating part and a thin sink tip) + heavy fly

Method #3 = heavy sinking line + floating (rising) fly

3 important factors have been in my focus:

A) How long will the fly be near the fish?

B) How often does my fly get stuck to the bottom?

C) How big is the probability to spook the fish with the fly line crossing the fish before the fly will be in (striking) position?

Simply method 2 (Skagit style system) worked best in most situations (up to 4 meters/13 feet of water depth). The fly will be longer near the fish! Then the fly line will not touch the fish as easy as it does when fishing a full (and heavy) sinking line. And finally I lost very few flies hanging on the ground when fishing method #2. The only small disadvantage is a slightly worse contact to the fly. I had to fully concentrate on the (usually pretty soft) take and then hit it hard. Done so this method helped me to successfully catch pike perch every night during the past two weeks now!

Method #1 did a good job when fishing a soft bottom (with no rocks) in really deep or fast moving water. In the average situation (rocky bottom and not so deep) I lost a lot of flies and got much less strikes probably caused by spooking the pike perch with the fly line touching the fish first.

Method #3 also means the fly line often will cross the fish first. It provides significant less flies getting hooked to the bottom compared to method #1. When the fishing pressure is very high this method means to have a game changing way of fly movement! But it also means to not have the fly directly in the feeding zone down at the bottom. I use this method in between big rocks and/or in high fishing pressure to make a difference.

All in all using a set of different sink tips for my fly line set up in method #2 (Skagit) allows me to adapt perfectly to a lot of different situations in no time. I have sink tips varying in a) length and b) sink rates. This method offers me highest flexibility!

You don’t fly fish for pike perch? I am pretty sure you can transfer my experience for fishing on many species of fish!

Great fishy week to all of you!

All my best


As usual – you may find some pictures of last week below.

flyfishing bernd ziesche