Fly fishing for northern pike is becoming increasingly popular. It provides opportunities to catch large wild fish on a fly rod in the late summer and in the early spring. Pike grows quite big. A trophy trout is small compared to a decent-sized pike. Even for a person experienced in trout fly fishing, there is plenty to learn - although the casting is similar the flies, tackle and leader setup are often different.
Fly fishing for pike in the Nordic waters is an introduction to a predator that does not only feed but attacks the food with violence. When flyfishing for pike, the flies do not last long. Therefore, one should stock up with plenty of flies when going pike hunting. A selection of natural pike fly patterns imitating baitfish together with some bright colorful patterns will work well. The natural patterns go with clear water and the bright attractor pike fly patterns will be the choice for cold or colored water.
Spring and autumn are the seasons to catch record pike. Presentation of the fly is just as important as the fly itself, it is important to retrieve the fly with attack-inducing action. A jerk-strip–style retrieve that resembles a bait fish trying to swim, while being injured, will often be the retrieve that entices the aggressive strike. To lure a lazy fish to eat, going deeper and slower with the retrieve normally works.
For someone who is new to pike fly fishing, it is a good idea to book a fishing trip with an experienced guide. Fishing guide Jani Ollikainen provides fishing trips to both individuals and companies. He is based in Merimasku, Finland.