Thursday, 13 November 2008


Another reason why my success rate on rivers has improved over the last few years can be attributed to having a better understanding of where to locate Pike. Although it’s common knowledge that you are more likely to find them in the lower reaches of a river than in its upper reaches, they also tend to congregate especially in areas where the current is slow moving, and are very rarely found in fast flowing rocky waters. Something which I hadn’t really taken into consideration. In my defence though, most of my fishing was done in the upper reaches of a river while on canoeing trips due to the free time that was available to me.

In regards to what line to use I have read many articles written by pike fly-fishermen either in books, magazines or on the net over the last few years where many state that they prefer to use a fast sinking line when fishing on rivers, and although I don’t argue with their reasoning and methods I have found that using an intermediate line with a Dahlberg diver (or any diver for that matter) far more productive.

Depending on which side of the river you are casting from, your fly will always float back towards you…its the law of physics. I found while using a fast sinking line, know matter what strength the current was, by the time the fly had swung across the river it was dragging on the bottom which to me is not productive at all. You need to be able to give yourself all the chance you can in keeping the fly as visible as possible as it makes its way across the swim and the slower you allow the fly to do this, the better.

In using a Dahlberg diver pattern with an intermediate slow sinking line I’m able to use the current to my advantage, and with short strips every now and then as it arcs its way back across the stretch of river I’ve found the fly stays in the mid to upper section of water longer. In my opinion any respecting pike in the area will see it a lot easier than if it was bouncing along on the bottom. Also, with this method you are less prone to getting any annoying snag ups.

…………More on this later!


dry flies and deadbaits said...

Pike fishing in river's is sadly quite rare in scotland, only a handful of the bigger rivers contain them and access to fish for them is rather limited.
I hear stories of pike in my local trout burn, a long time ago certainly but it's been niggling me that there is a chance i could be missing some awesome smallstream piking!