Wednesday, 12 November 2008


Whether it’s a canal, lake, polder or river, we all have specific waters we like to fish on for pike. This could be attributed to what is available in your area or just what you feel more comfortable with. Me, well I’m more happier on lakes but since moving here to Finland I have started to fish rivers more often.
Flowing water has always posed a challenge to me for so many reasons when targeting Pike with a fly. Whether it be the strength of the current, the close proximity of the tree line to the river bank (which hinders your back cast) or just not knowing what snags or obstacles lie under the surface kept me away from them probably more than I should have. This weariness which has been indelibly etched into my psyche probably transpired while fly fishing in the northern territories in Australia several years back. To say I was given a real lesson in the perils of fly-fishing on rivers is an understatement. As with most predatory fish like the Barramundi, one needed to fish your fly as close to the structures as possible if you are to have any success at all. Tempting them out from these structures to take my fly was never the problem but once they were hooked, like all fish, their first instinct was to head straight back from whence they came, and so I ended up replacing leader after leader let alone lose numerous flies in the process through these snag ups.
I’ve always felt as well, that to be a more complete pike fly-fishermen I would need to spend more time in or around flowing waters and succumb to the negative voices in my head. To be honest my first year here on rivers was pretty dismal to say the least, but this could be attributed to several factors, not that I am blaming my tools or technique just that I hadn’t spent probably enough time scouting out where my best line of attack would be from.

If there is one sound piece of advice I can give you when targeting pike on rivers and that is to stop, sit down and access every aspect that stretch of rivers offers you.

1. Take note of the flow.
2. Where and how far could you wade out to without endangering yourself.
3. Are there any visible features or structures you need to be aware of or could use to your advantage.
4. Decide how and where you are going to attack the stretch of river from.
5. Check all areas for low overhanging branches. The last thing you want is to foul hook yourself just as you are feeling confident about
6. Even though they might not be there, look for areas where bait fish might be holed up. The old adage Is, “Where there is bait fish the Pike
wont be far behind”!
7. Be positive and decide how long you will fish that specific stretch of water before moving on.

………….More on this subject later!