Beginners Guide To Pike On The Fly


The Beginners Guide To Pike On The Fly

With the pike season coming upon us, it’s that time to get ready get the tackle topped up, flies ready and traces rigged.

So, where do you start and what approach do you take if you have never tried catching theses Predatory fish?

Set Up:

What Rod?

I’ve always found the best rod is either a 9ft #9 or a 9ft #10, all depending on the size of flies you are casting for a best all round rod I’d always use the 9ft #9.

It's all in your personal preference, but a 9ft #9 is great as you have good backbone for playing the fish but also have the enjoyment and sport of the fish and feeling its every move.


Now this is the main thing! It's not always the bigger the fly, the bigger the fish ... I’ve had jacks at 2lb taking flies at 1ft long and my personal best pike took an 8” fly.

Therefore the flies I tend to use most would be from 5”- 9” in length.

Here are a few of my go to patterns from Fulling Mill :

Fulling Mill Dougie's Bait Fish 


Fulling Mill P's W/T Bun Blk&Blue


Fulling Mill Pike Tube Firetiger 25cm

Fulling Mill Andino Deceiver Chartreuse/Black

Fly Line?

This also depends on the depth of the water you are fishing. A good all round line would be a sink 3 or if you really want to get it right try a Guideline sink1/sink3, it’s a line that seems to present the fly just perfect and swim at a good depth keeping everything straight and in contact at all times.


Traces can be a real pain at times as there are so many to choose from, I’ve tried standard pre-made traces such as Berkley which are okay.

I’ve also tried Rio wire bite, also very good but my main choice now is Fulling Mill as it doesn’t kink or fray as much as others.

All traces can kink and fray, but Fulling Mill wire trace just seems to be holding up that bit longer for me.


Never use any less than 20lb attached to your trace as these fish can hit hard I use between 20-30lb. I also tend to use around 4-5ft in length to add on to your trace which is around 1ft in length.

The reason I use such a short leader is because it gives me more control of the fly when it is around the bank or boat.

I tend to find that Pike don`t really have a pattern of taking the fly, they can take at any point of the retrieve from the moment the fly hits the water till the moment your about to take the fly out of the water. 

Also a really good tip give your fly plenty of hang time around the bank/boat as these fish may be sitting behind your fly just watching so jerk the fly around to try get a reaction from a watching fish.

Personally, the best takes are at your feet when the pike appears from the depths - These are the real heart stopping takes so hold on tight!

Also be very careful when unhooking pike as they can cut you up a little ... just go carefully threw the gill cover not going near the gill rakers  as they do the damage.

I hope this little guide for pike on the fly helps to get you started.


Tight Lines, 


Andy McClelland