Pike trip report, Manitoba [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Pike trip report, Manitoba

06-20-2006, 04:54 PM
OK, so you were out on the flats all day and saw nothing to cast to. Or, perhaps, you were fly fishing for largemouth bass, and not much was happening. And, conditions have been like this for quite a while. The line is in the water, but catching is tough. So, what do you do? Time for an "Action Fishing Trip." My definition of a limited technical no brainer, definitely guaranteed to catch fish, trip. From my experiences so far, there are at least two types of trips that a fly caster can go on to reach this lofty goal: northern pike in Canada just after ice-out and peacock bass in the Amazon during low water conditions.

This was my third, and most successful trip to Edmund Lake Lodge, Manitoba, Canada. The first leg of the trip was three planes from West Palm Beach to Winnipeg. Then an overnight stay with a 300+ mile 6 AM flight to God's Lake, and then a fly-in to the Lodge. I go by myself (no one to go with) and meet up with other fishermen on the flight to GL. We arrived in time to have a little sandwich snack and fish from about 11 AM until 5 PM (for $25 extra, to the guide, you can fish from 7 to 10 after dinner). This is a 6.5 day fishing trip.

For the fly fisherman, as you pike fishers know, the first 2-3 weeks after ice out are the best for sight fishing. The bigger pike will generally be in the shallows during this time. But once things start to warm up, they head for deper waters and it becomes dredging time with sinking lines. (An aside: I, personally, hate sinking lines.) This year ice out was early, the beginning of May and not the usual middle of May. So, when I got there one had to really hunt to find the trophy fish (41" or more) for sighting.

As with all sight fishing, weather and wind play a major, major role in one's success. The first three days, we had fine weather: not too much wind and a fair amount of sun. Temperatures, for the most part, ran in the 70s. Conditions were real good for sight casting. The last 4 days the wind kicked up, the sun often played hide 'n seek, and it got colder (50s to 60s). As usual, weather is never a constant on my trips. However, long casts were never the order of the day because the water and the bottom was rather stained. A long sighting might be 20-25', but more likely 10-15'. I lucked out in that my guides' (had 2 guides sharing my time) boats (16' alums with 30 HP Yamahas) had electric trolling motors, and the guides, although not fly fishermen, knew how to position the boat for me. So, how did I do?

I'm sure I'll sound like a braggert to you guys, but I think I became somewhat of a legend at the Lodge. The first 2.5 days I caught a total of 6 trophies ranging in size from 41 to 46.25", all sighted and 5 were caught in one day. Along with this came 8 30-40" fish, and a mess of smaller guys. Most were caught on 4" rabbit bunnies (rabbit tail with cross-cut rabbit tail palmered to the eye on 2/0 barbless hooks), mostly orange/blk and all black.

The final 4 days the weather changed somewhat for the worse. Aalthough I again caught a mess of 30-40", and a lot of smaller ones, luckily I did get another trophy (41") on a 3.5" popper (not sighted, but impressive to catch a trophy with a small popper). Actually on the last 4 days I fished a lot with the popper (when appropriate, of course), and caught a lot of small (12-20+") fish with it. BTW, my tackle was: 9wt Sage 3-pc RPLx for the streamers and 8wt Sage RPL 4 pc fr the popper. I tried going with a 50# flourocarbon tippet, but quickly stopped when my biggest fish almost stripped the tippet in half...if I had her on the line for a few seconds more, she would have been gone. Also, when using wire, no matter how twisted it was, the fish didn't seem to mind. Furthermore, there were times when the boat nearly ran over fish, but they stayed around to get caught. Other tiome, they were spooky and did present a challenge with multiple sihgt casts. What did I say: "A no brainer."

Interestly, there were about 8-10 conventional fisherment there, and all together they caught around 7 trophies. During early ice out, the fly rodder is definitely at an advantage.

If someone can help me, and if you want, I can post some pictures.

Dble Haul
06-21-2006, 07:45 AM
Very good report! I'd been wondering when you'd get back.

If you'd like to post pictures, you have one of two options:

1. Reduce them in size to less than 60.5 KB and add them as attachments (using the "Manage Attachments" button)

2. Use a free image hosting site such as photobucket.com and link to them via the IMG coding

I'm glad that you found a leader system that worked for you. Pike definitely aren't leader shy, and since that was all you were targeting and going to catch in those conditions, I don't doubt it worked well for you.

06-21-2006, 07:53 AM
If you have XP here is a link to a free image resizer...


06-21-2006, 10:06 PM
Wow! Awesome report :cool: Can't wait to see some pics.

I haven't done much sight fishing for pike -- they usually just explode on my fly and I don't see them until they're airborne. It must really get your adrenaline going when you can see them and watch them charge the fly :whoa:


06-22-2006, 08:53 AM
Wow! Awesome report :cool: Can't wait to see some pics.

I haven't done much sight fishing for pike -- they usually just explode on my fly and I don't see them until they're airborne. It must really get your adrenaline going when you can see them and watch them charge the fly :whoa:

You can say that again, Quentin. But, actually, and most interestingly, the fish generally didn't charge the fly. They sort of mosied on over, opened their mouths, and engulfed the fly. I think that as the small fly was just moving across the fish's line of sight, the fly didn't present any danger to the fish and didn't look as though it was going to dart away, so it was an easy meal to grab without exerting a lot of energy. In fact, none ofmy takes, other than for surface takes, were real yankers; but rather, I would just feel the line go taught and like a had snagged a log. Often times, it would take the fish a while to realize it was hooked, then it would start the fight.

Dble Haul
06-22-2006, 10:15 AM
Helping out with the pictures....









Dble Haul
06-22-2006, 10:15 AM





06-22-2006, 11:06 AM
Thanks, DbleHaul.

06-22-2006, 11:28 AM
Excellent, thanks for sharing :smokin:

Dble Haul
06-22-2006, 12:58 PM
Thanks, DbleHaul.

No problem.

I have to say, that first fish is soooooo thick it looks like an alligator. Great stuff! :)

06-28-2006, 09:50 AM
Nice reports and great pics. Glad to see other fly fishermen enjoy my home province. Next time you come up let me know and I'll take you out for some of these on the fly.



These Cats are a riot!!!