Fly fishing for pike is a rather new sport, even here in Holland. It started in the early sixties, and in the beginning we used small trout streamers like the Mickey Finn, Grey Ghost, Missionary and Chief Needabey. Since then, however, our techniques and methods have changed dramatically. With this change, there has also been a considerable alteration in the fly patterns we use. I strongly believe that the experiences of several Dutch anglers while fishing for pike abroad have had a huge influence on the development of these patterns. Ad Swier, who does a lot of pike fishing all over Europe, has enormously increased the popularity of pike fishing with flies.
Fly fishing for pike is the fastest growing segment of pike fishermen. Novice and confirmed hardware fisherman alike are taking up fly fishing, even as a backup system.
|Critics of fly fishing for pike have often stated that fly rods are not capable of landing the fish before they reach exhaustion.
This is nonsense. Whilst a fly rod will flex and bend to the jumps and rushes of a hooked pike, because they are spring-like,
they will tame pike quickly – I expect to land twenty pound plus fish within a few adrenaline packed minutes of hooking them.
I have also heard it said that pike fly fishing kills a lot of pike. This too, is nonsense. Unhooking a fish that is caught on a single hook is easy – it is bad handling and treble hooks, taken deeply by pike as they swallow baits that kill pike.
The chances are that if you are reading this you are already a full or part-time pike angler. Several years ago, the ‘serious’ pike fishing fraternity condemned fly fishing for pike largely because they were jealous of a few of us whom were going out and catching big pike on ‘their’ waters. Today, fly fishing for pike is attracting almost more interest than any other growing facet of angling in the UK and even the hard core are sneaking into tackle shops, tail between legs and wearing false beards and moustaches to enquire about buying some pike fly kit!
Pike fishing can be a fantastic sport, and fly fishing for pike is a great alternative when the trout fishing has been closed. Pike are very strong fish, sometimes making spectacular jumps out of the water when hooked. They often take the fly with unbelievable speed and violence.
I’ve fly fished for pike from the Yukon to Labrador, around the Great Lakes, and on many lakes of every imaginable size and composition throughout the vast region described. From my perspective, any list of the “Best 13″ pike flies on earth has to include something from each category described above, because no single fly consistently fools pike in every imaginable situation. However, even within this exclusive list, some flies are more universal than others.