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  1. Default Pike in Clear water

    Guys - I recently found a spot that has a fair number of large (10+ lb) pike, but the water is very clear and they don't seem overly interested in my usual crop of pike flies.

    Any suggestions on fly selection/tactics?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Pike in Clear water

    If you can see the pike.....they have already seen you and have felt your presence way before seeing you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strathroy, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: Pike in Clear water

    Hey Beninfl
    Pretty much the majority of my pike fishing is done on hyper-oligotrophic water (almost sterile clean). While dabluz has a point that relates to a predator response mechanism, IF you are in waters with 10 pound+ pike....not much tends to faze them at that size....unless of course, there is also HUGE angling pressure.

    IF you enter the waters calmly...do not make a huge fuss in casting...in time, you will see the pike 'return' to normal and move ever closer. Ticket now..to induce a strike.

    I am a huge fan of weighted marabou leaches for pike. Simple to tie and if you forgo actual weighting of the fly itself and go to afixing a small split shot at the head of the fly on the leader instead, you can get tying down to about 2-3 minutes per fly....its that simple. And for that toothy predator, you don't want to spend a lot of time making pretty flies when typically, they (the flies) have a short life span either because bite offs or being chewed apart.

    I typically run full floating line...and long(er) leader/tippets combos (10'+...adjusted for wading waters). I DO NOT use any form of wire leader...even for big pike but DO use heavier mono as tippet.

    Back to flies....marabou leaches....maybe a pinch of flash-a-boo for sparkle. My fav colours are yellow, purple or black. Strip retrieve...2-3" strips on the return....pausing a second or 2 between strips. I find if I have a chaser...or a particularly 'fishing' feeling retrieve...I'll send back and increase the pause BUT strip faster. Remember, pike are AMBUSH predators so think like a dumb prey species that is minding its own business, darting to eat ITS own food....OR one that has suddenly become 'aware' something that could eat 'you' is near.

    Be wary at the end of your retrieve....LOTS of time...I have seen a large pike rocket out of the water chasing the fly as it leaves right before you start to cast again. I have seen grown men scream as a snot rocket leaps into their laps.

    One other 'rule' for me...if you're not snagging, you're not catching pike. Which is to say...ya gotta get down...and another reason for not spending too much time making pretty flies.

    I have also had good luck...and fun using deer hair mice but find that works best when you can either wade out and cast back to shore (best later in the evening) or cast to structure. Pike 'on the dry', is the best for me....outdoing almost any other species and type of fishing.

    I typically DON'T fly cast from boats (for pike). I will, however, boat to a location...and get out to wade though (see my talk above about fish jumping into my lap).

    In closing of my dissertation on pike....I've never met a pike I didn't like.

    Good luck

    King Joe, Outa Here!

  4. Likes bigfishcatcher liked this post
  5. Default Re: Pike in Clear water

    Joe - thanks. I was actually paddleboarding out to this particular spot today and found that the big pike were actually even a bit curious and came closer. They didn't like large baitfish patterns I was throwing and perhaps I was also stripping too fast.

    Do you tie your leeches like a steelhead leech (spun marabou) or like an oversize woolly bugger?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strathroy, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: Pike in Clear water

    Hey Benn
    See, that's what i am talking about. Big pike, are typically the apex predator in any system they exist in...and nothing fazes them. I bet actually, they were looking at you and they were wondering if your paddleboard would fit into their toothy maw....HAH.

    Neither....not spun like steelhead or like a wooly bugger. I tie my marabou leaches very simple.

    Thread wrap a base onto the streamer hook...to the bend. Pinch a good pinch of short marabou, cut from stem and tie onto the top of the hook wrapping a bit forward toward the eye to both lock the pinch...and to set for the next pinch. Pinch a good pinch...and tie on wrapping a bit forward. Repeat until about 2 or 3 pinches to the head. With each progressive next pinch, I increase the length of the marabou pinched. Of course, for really long hooks (size 2, 3X), the length of marabou will be limited. Anyway...about 2 to 3 pinches from the head..... Here, I typically pinch in some flashabou or crystalbrite ensuring that the fibres go back at least as long as the longest marabou at the back of the hook. Pinch and tie, pinch and tie to the head...and finish.

    IN this, you can bulk up tons...or tie pencil thin leaches. If you've ever seen leaches in their natural state....they are amazing in that they can morph through thread like thinness increasing their resting length over 10x....but can, in second, ball up to be as thick as a ball. THAT is what marabou tied above can do also. It can be just as wide as the hook or as fat as a ball. MMMM, appetizing!!!

    Incidentally, while I first started using this leach version for pike, walleye and perch....I have also experienced great success with it for rainbows, kokanee, brook trout, grayling and bull trout....of course, changing sizes as needed.

    And, if I ever figure out how to post pics, I'll post some.

    Good luck with the hammer handle hammering!!!

    King Joe Outa Here!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,844

    Default Re: Pike in Clear water

    if the water is that clear, use a LOOONNG leader so thats just extra insurance on not spooking them. We have had to use 9-12' leaders sometimes because the water is just soo clear.
    "When you do things right, people wont be sure you've done anything at all."

    Storm Drain Bonefisher

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