Psuedo pike trip report [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Psuedo pike trip report

Dble Haul
05-09-2006, 07:05 PM
Bert and I went to the backwaters of Lake Ontario for several days of pike fishing, but we really had no idea what we were in store for.

Rule number one: never believe a Great Lakes weather forecast, even if it's the day before fishing. Those reports were off on both temperature and wind speed. There were two days in the middle of the trip that we just simply couldn't be out on the boat because of honking winds out of the west. Even back up in the creeks and estuaries boat control was nearly impossible, and fishing was no fun at all. Those are the days that we went to try for steelhead (report posted in Great Lakes section).

Rule number two: never assume that water levels are going to be consistent. In the past two years, our trips involved fishing great pike structure in those backwaters. This year, water levels were extremely low; in fact, they were so low that some of our favorite areas were nearly dry. Not great for pike fishing, as this forces them back onto secondary structure.

We didn't catch or see any truly big pike, but those that we did catch were decent sized. There was one very calm day at the beginning of the trip when we were able to make a run of several miles on the big lake itself to a little feeder creek that led to some great marshy pike areas. The inlet was washing over a gravel bar, and the water was only several inches deep leading into it. We trimmed the motor up and literally dragged the boat over the bar, and it was well worth the effort. These pike were trapped in this large backwater, and they were aggressive as we've ever seen them. When the weather calmed down again after the pair of windy days, we ran back across to the same spot only to find that the gravel bar leading to the spot was now completely exposed. Once again, we were done in by low water.

So we fished new waters, learned some new holding areas, and worked hard for the fish that we got. Some of the results can be seen below.

Here's one of the first aggressive fish from our new hotspot....

Another friend saying cheese (there's a fly in there somewhere)....

Bert fighting a pike from the back of the boat; note the steep bank. These fish were holding deep in this spot....

Dble Haul
05-09-2006, 07:05 PM
Yours truly with an average fish...

The wooly bully was the top fish getter. Here's a chartruese one that found its way into a fish's mouth....

And here's a pink one that a pike tried to swallow whole. Another good reason to go barbless with pike flies....

The wooly bully also caught largemouth, smallmouth, a few big crappie, and even one suicidal rock bass.

The trip was interesting. The pike were challenging, and the water levels were definitely not in our favor. But we found a definite new hot spot, and explored several others....some good, some bad. And I was also able to sneak in some steelhead fishing.

I've had better trips, but I've had worse too.

05-09-2006, 08:21 PM
Excellent report and photos! Sounds like the good parts more than made up for the bad :cool: . I know what you mean about the wind -- it usually finds me no matter where I try to hide. Good thing you had a Plan C!


05-09-2006, 09:36 PM
WOW! Great fish are always worth the effort...
I missed the opening yesterday due to poor weather, and today I had to pick up my newest "TOY", an 06' Avalanche. The Av & me are heading out tomorrow AM, WoolyBullies are ready to go!

05-10-2006, 08:07 AM
Nice report and pics, Dble Haul. From June 3-10, I'll be fishing Edmund Lake (northeast Manitoba) for big northerns. The lake only holds northerns and walleye (I don't fish for the latter) and wqe genearally fish in waters 1-7' deep...sighting when we can. Been there for the past two years and have done rather well, IMHO (many 30+" fish and 4 42+" fish). Ice out is usually around mid-May, but I don't go then because the ice could still be in place and I hate the cold. So, I wait a while hoping that the big guys aren't in their post spawn duldrums, that the weather won't be in the 30s, or if it does get warm, the cabbage isn't all over the place.

As mentioned before, I'm a lazy tyer and have used 4-6" bunny type flies, very simply made: 2/0 hook, rabbit tail with x-cut rabbit collar, a little bit of flash, no eyes, and that's it. Assorted color combinations, with red/white being my most favored bunny fly. Make a few up with lead eyes if I feel I have to get a little deeper. Surface flies are gurglers and regular ol' poppers (all 4-6" long): some flash on the tails, no eyes on the head...assorted colors. All thrown on 8 and 9 wt rods. Been using knotable wire tippets, but I think this year I may go with 40-50# FC to see how that holds up.

Aside from recommending that I make up some larger flies (although the guides all say that at this time of year, 4" flies out fish conventional tackle and larger flies), I'd appreciate anything else you can add that might improve my fishing experience up north. Thanks.

Dble Haul
05-10-2006, 09:34 AM
I guess I could tell you that this trip confirmed one particular brand of fluorocarbon for us. We had always used Seaguar fluoro at 50 pound test, but this trip we used Berkley Vanish fluoro in the same breaking strength. It is far more supple, has little memory, and we didn't experience a single bite-off during the trip. Granted, we came across fewer fish because of fewer opportunities based on the weather that kept us off the water two days, but I'm fairly sold on the product. Plus, a 300 yard spool will last a long time.

Also, don't be afraid to use a sinking line. When a front moved through or the water levels drop, these fish can move back to secondary structure that might be as much as 12 to 20 feet deep. I don't know if the waters you will be fishing are that deep, but it's worth having that extra option if the pike pull back into the depths.

Have fun on your trip.