Our Favorite 10 Flies for Pike
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These great pike flies will help you land the monster northern pike you want
From small pike in ponds and lakes to trophy size fish in the 50" range, pike are awesome gamefish and will eat flies readily. They are extremely exciting to catch on topwater flies, as quick as a barracuda and are eating machines. Pike are very common in northern climates and can attain trophy sizes in Alaska and Canada. We know because we chase them around the Midwest and have guided for them in Alaska. Need help catching these tough fish? We're here for you with the best flies, gear and advice.
Flies for Pike
Pike can be voracious and you typically just need to get their attention. Typically we base our fly size on the pike available wherever you are fishing. Smaller fish, smaller flies and larger fish use larger flies. That’s not to say big fish won’t eat small flies. Pike flies usually have plenty of flash built-in and action. Good sharp hooks are important with your flies and our flies come with those high-quality hooks. Please note that wire leaders are a must for these toothy fish.
Rods for Pike
Rod size is dependent on the size of the fish that you expect to encounter and the size of the flies you are using. Unless you are on water that is inundated with small “hammer handles” an 8 weight is a good all-around size. If you are on trophy water, especially if large muskies live there too, 9 and 10 weight rods will handle the bigger flies and fish better. Good performance is important in a fly rod when throwing big flies. Give us a call and we can help you make the right selection.
Pike Fishing Techniques
Pike are aggressive fish that often inhabit shallow and weedy areas. Presentation is a pretty simple matter. Get the fly out in the water and strip it back. Experiment with retrieves to see what the fish prefer at that particular time and hang on. While the retrieve can be basic the hook set is very important. Pike and muskies have very tough mouths and it can be hard to drive the hook in. You will want to use a strip set when setting the hook. Keep the line under the trigger finger of the hand holding the fly rod when retrieving. When the fish eats, don't lift the rod, keep it pointed at the fly throughout the retrieve to eliminate slack and keep stripping when you feel the fish’s weight during the strike. This will drive the hook home. Lifting the rod during the strike usually results in pulling the fly from the fish and not getting the hook set.
Here are some of our favorite flies for pike:
- Umpqua Swimming Baitfish
This is one of your best choices for nabbing northern pike (and muskies) in Wisconsin and all over the world. Choose from red/white or shad patterns.
- Ehlers’ Gator Done
This fly collection is one of the most popular from Rainy’s Signature Pat Ehlers’ Series for muskies and northern pike. These attract the big girls and are made of tough tying materials to help them last longer.
- Skok’s Super Mushy
This flashy fly was developed on the east coast for saltwater fish but is a favorite of ours for pike and muskies.
- Reynold’s Pike Fly
The Reynold’s Pike fly is a classic & effective bunny fly pattern for fishing northern pike. Available in a white/red or chartreuse color pattern, this fly works particularly well in Alaska and Canada.
- Pike/Tarpon Snake
This is a crossover fly pattern that dominates as a northern pike fly. It’s versatile as an effective fly for tarpon, peacock bass and musky as well. Easy to cast for its size, it features all of the attributes a good pike fly needs.
- Ehlers’ Midnight Sun
The Midnight Sun fly was developed at Midnight Sun Trophy Pike Adventures in Alaska for northern pike by The Fly Fishers owner, Pat Ehlers. Choose from a yellow/orange or blue/white pattern.
- CF Whistler
The CF Whistler collection features bead chains and life-like craft fur which makes for easy casting and lots of action to attract northern pike and other big game like tarpon and muskies. Color patterns include red/yellow, orange/black and red/white.
The black John Barr Meat Whistle imitates crayfish, leeches and other baitfish perfectly to attract trophy northern pike.
- CF Baitfish Fly
Available with a loud fire tiger color style, the CF Baitfish fly is an excellent go-to option for nabbing hungry pike.
- Gen-X Bunny
The Gen-X bunny features a premium Tiemco 600SP hook and a support beneath the bunny strip near the hook to avoid fouling on the hook. This is a must-have for fly fishing pike.