Retrieve a fly for pike? Wrong method, altogether surely? No, this isn’t a joke. In Britain fly fishing for coarse fish such as pike, perch and even chub is gaining in popularity. On the Continent and in North America, fly fishing for pike, bass, perch and other coarse species is an accepted and effective way of taking fish. But some of the best flies from the USA will have you shaking your head in disbelief. 1. The Dalberg Diver Created by Larry
Dalberg, famous coarse fly fisher from
Wisconsin, this fly was originally designed for bass fishing on rivers. Its bullet-shaped deer-hair head with extending ridge of uncut hair enables the fly to fish on and below the surface on the same cast. When you retrieve the fly, it dives underneath the water. Stop and it bobs back up to the sur face. It can be tied in a variety of colours with either marabou or in zonker fashion. The weed- guard helps reduce snags.
Dalberg has caught everything from pike to rainbow trout to tarpon on Divers. Try fishing them in sizes 1/0-4 for pike and sizes 8-10 for perch. 2. Dalberg’s Mega Diver At 28cm long, the Mega Diver defies logic when it comes to imitative fishing; it takes the ‘fly’ out of fly fishing and replaces it with ‘thing’.
But despite its unorthodox appearance, this is a top fly for big pike in canals, drains, rivers and even small stillwaters. Make no mistake: pike aren’t afraid of big lures.
Both this and the previous pattern are effective for fishing in shallow venues — maximum depth 1.5m.
Use them in a variety of ways, from long, slow strips to short plucks to fast pulls. When a take comes, give the pike a few seconds to turn down with the fly before lifting the rod smartly to set the hook. 3. The leeches These subsurface flies have a lead dumbbell tied just behind the eye. Instead of a straight zonker-style fly, with the strip of fur tied along the hookshank, these leech patterns have a strip of mink fur wrapped around the hookshank, providing maximum fuzziness. The thin rubber tail wiggles like a hula dancer. Add up all these factors, and you have one deadly pattern -the lead head makes it dart and dive, pulsing the mink fur and making the tail flutter erratically. Though they may not look too much like leeches, they certainly work well for perch and pike in all types of water — especially large deep stillwaters. Try a variety of retrieves. 4. Action Backs At last a semi-recognizable pattern! These flies imitate fry and are tied zonker-style – except that the fur is attached on the bottom of the hookshank to mask the hookpoint. The mylar bodies give the appearance of scales, and the touch of red marabou for the throat gives a splash of colour. A painted eye finishes the fly off. Use it wherever you find pike. For perch use smaller sizes. Since pike love to give chase, try a Hi-D in stillwaters, retrieving the fly as fast as you can.