Fly fishing for pike my style

 

 

Let me point out from the beginning that my way of fishing not necessarily is the best. Many fishermen define the best way as the fastest and surest way to catch plenty of and above all, big pikes. Maybe you don't achieve that with my style of fishing. But mine is the way I like and stick to. 
In the following I will take for granted that the visitor have at least one or two notions about what kind of fish the pike is. The advices and descriptions of the life and times of the pikes living here in Blekinge's brackish, coastal water probably isn't suitable where you live.
So why should I bother to look at this site at all, you might ask yourself. The answer to that is of course that... That... Eh... There you got me!

Anyway, I will start with a presentation of my fly. In these times of recycling I will jump on that bandwagon and use a letter I wrote some years ago:

"Fly Fair’s International Fly Tying "Crack"

 

02-08-29

 

OK, so I finally decided to join the competition. But not without a great deal of thought. Because you demanded three different kinds of flies. And that is impossible! There’s absolutely no need for three kinds of flies, I thought so I put the competition out of mind.
At first. But after a while I came up with the following line of reason.
First, I couldn’t stand the thought of not letting you, and perhaps the rest of the world, see and feel, and experience, and marvel, and admire the original and, do I need to say this; the best pike fly there is.
Now, how can I say this, you may wonder. Isn’t it just another empty statement or words without proof?

No, because I have all the support I need to say so. Hundreds of hundreds can vouch for the "White pike-sara", or whatever the name would be in English. Maybe you will receive many pike flies resembling mine. It’s no wonder in that case but I can guarantee that I was first. You see, I’m one of the pioneers in fly fishing for pike. I started out already in 1975-76. At that time I did not read or see or hear of any one else doing so. At least not in Sweden. The White pike-sara has been with me from the start. The concept, that is. It has changed a great deal but not the overall look, only in details. Important details, like materials, hooks and leaders to be sure. But the fly remains the same although."  

OK, let's make a break with the letter. This picture is new (05-12-18) and this is how they look now. But the sizes are correct because I sent three different ones. Above,  the biggest tied on a #4 hook. Suitable for AFTM 8-9.  
The other two on hook size #6. The one in the middle will cast beautifully on a AFTM 6-7 and even on a #5 rod. 

The third or last in line is what I call a One Size Fits All. To use in waters infected with sea trout, steelheads or God forbid, garfish.

 

Now back to the letter: "The fly (or flies) I send to you, does it represent the ultimate peak of the white pike-sara’s development?
Almost, I would answer to that. Almost. I have finally come across a new and easy-handling material for the weakest point in all fly fishing for pike, i.e. the leader. Drennan Green Pike wire 15 or 20 lbs is quite satisfactory in my opinion. But we may see other, maybe better, solutions in the future. Or maybe they already exist in some other place, just that I am unaware of this fact. Maybe at the Fly Fair…?
And the hook…
Kamasan! Perfect!
Just perfect! But don’t tell anyone that the B982 Strong or the B980 originally is intended for angling!

And above all, don’t tell the people at Kamasan that it’s perfect for pike-flies and thus used by fly fishers.
If they ever find out that we use them for fly fishing, they will no doubt double the price!

Mostly I use #4. For really big flies, fishing from a boat and with a sinking line, I use #2 and for the light version (AFTM 5) #6. The White Pike-sara is very simple and easy to tie. Or make. It consists of only two materials, namely ostrich herl and a little Krystal Flash from Adexa (or some other glitter). And mind you, the ostriches I take the feathers off, don’t live in Africa but on an Ostrich Farm right here in Sweden. That makes my conscience calm and easy while I fish, because I release all the pikes I get. Of course!
You see, the White Pike-sara catches so many pikes it would be a threat to the species if you were greedy or barbaric enough to kill the nice little creatures!

The pikes are my friends and I wouldn’t dream of mistreat them in that way. I just want to talk to them a little while. Make sure they’re all right and maybe tell them to be more careful not to get fooled by wobblers, nets, spinners and other metallic or plastic lures.

And let me tell you that the White Pike-sara is the right fly to make close encounters and contact with my friends! I have literally thousands of pikes that can vouch for that. (See enclosed list where "Gädda" means "pike")

Back to the contest:
Three categories, yes… But I think I can solve this problem yet…
The first category won’t be a problem whatsoever! Just look at the little plastic bag with the #1 number on it and take out the fly!
It’s so deadly that it is impossible not to catch a pike on it! With the exception if you fish in a bathtub or swimming pool or other such place that don’t have pikes in it. It’s so deadly that if I would have killed all the pikes on the list I would have been considered the Scourge of the Pikes. So that category I pass under applause.

And for number two, the super realistic fly, I have no worry about either. But you can’t judge it in a dry condition. You have to fish it. Or at least draw it in water. And why not use a bathtub or a swimming pool?
Yes, of course you must! Otherwise some pike will come up and swallows it and you won’t see the beautiful, tobislike, super realistic, enticing, temptating way in the water and the price would go to another.

The White Pike-sara is imitating a sand eel as you well will see. "Tobis" in Swedish or Ammodytidae in Latin. A little fish around here which the pikes favour. All the pikes on the list thought the fly was a sand eel, so they tell me.
This super realistic fly is tied in a lighter way than No I. Because I use it on a floating line and want it not to be too heavy to cast.

Let’s make another break in the letter. Here’s a picture of the materials needed for my fly. Except for the main ingredient; ostrich herl. The glitter is the biggest chance for the moment. Not only the brand seen here but lot of others as well. It seems that new shapes and  colors turn up each time I visit a shop, and usually I buy a pack or two to try them out. I prefer silver or white and avoid the more hideous variants.
Regarding leader materials I have tested several different brands and sorts without being content. Right now I stick to Drennan.

Concerning the Kamasan hook; it may well be that there is a better kind somewhere but I have no reason to go looking after it. Yes, that’s how I still feel
Back to the letter, I seem to have forgotten exactly what the three categories were that I’m talking about!
Embarrassing but true, but on the other hand it doesn’t matter:

“But the number three category made me worry a bit. But then I had the solution. #1 and #2 are pretty big flies and in order to cast them, it’s recommended to use an AFTM 8-9 equipment. But it’s much funnier to use a lighter rod and that will be my angle. That, and one other thing. Namely that in my Swedish waters in winter and spring there is another kind of fish swimming around and making a nuisance of themselves. They come in two kinds; sea trout and rainbow trout. The latter is mainly fugitives from fish farms but can sometimes appear in great numbers. The problem is that you have to clear the waters from them. They compete with pikes and eat their food and they must be punished for that, of course. The best way to do this is by catching them on a fly, take them out of the water, kill them and later on, eat them. That’ll teach them a lesson! But the problem with that is that during that time you won’t be able to fish for pikes. The real fish! I have solved that problem with item #3. I call it a One-size-fits-all.
What could be funnier than on a light rod be able to catch both pike and sea trout and steelhead? I have caught pikes as big as 6 kilos on a one-size-fits-all. As well as several sea trouts and rainbows.

Too bad I kant spik inglish so good or spel it. So you won’t be able to read the stories on my website as they are written in Swedish. But you can look at the pictures at least and see that I fully speak the truth in this letter. Please visit my website www.gagnekulla.net/pikefly and look at some hundreds of photos of pikes and me catching them!
Yes, I think that’ll be all for my entry of the contest. Will you be kind enough to send the prizes to:

Sören Essebo
(my address)


So I wrote and sent three different pike flies in an envelope to Holland in the summer of 2002.

How did it go in the competition?
I haven’t the faintest idea to this day! I looked and looked at their homepage but didn’t find nothing. Probably it was just a hoax and they ran away a-fishing with all the stolen flies!  

Just by reading that letter we’ve come a long way telling you how I fish for pikes. From late autumn, winter and the beginning of spring I use waders and the summer months I fish from my little boat. In my diaries I debate intensely with myself which way I actually think is most fun.
Regarding other sorts of gear like reels, rods and the like I have no strong opinions. Take lines for instance. Surprisingly enough I use a DT-line especially for floaters when I wade. And a cheap one at that. Even second class, the ones that is called Mills end in Swedish.
About rods I prefer to use the lightest I can. That has been the evolutionary driving force behind the development of my fly. How can it appears to be as big as possible in the water and the same time as light (in weight) as possible?

 

 

“Yes, I’m hung up. Yes, I’m hung up!”

So would my fly line answer the question asked by Mr. Frank Zappa a long time ago on one of his first albums. Sorry about that but occasionally quotations and phrases from 50 years of Rock ‘n’ Roll will pop up and want to come out. Sometime I will give in to their wishes and so this world wide web site will be hopelessly West-oriented. But on the other hand, English (or my way of mistreating it) is the most international language and fishermen from many countries will at least be able to understand a little. And only by looking at the picture to the left will be worth your while opening up this site, I’m sure of!

It’s one of my all-time best inventions regarding fly fishing!
Now I give it away to the rest of the fly fishing world for free.
Just glue a flannel hanger on to your fishing jacket or vest and there you are!

Take some care to make sure it will end up in the comfortable vicinity of where your left hand is when it retrieves the fly line. That is if you're right handed.

 It's a very simple little trick and works very well to keep the loops of the fly line in order. Now what means to what end leads all this up to? The answer is I think, to enjoy the hours and days spent out on the coast.  To feel and experience the bite, above all. Or is the word strike more appropriate? (This shows why I up till now kept myself to the Swedish talking audience; the language barrier.)
Many studies show that the strike is the most important feature in all fly fishing. If I remember correctly the mean figure is as high as 93,8% of the total, over all fishing experience. You feel the strike and don't exactly know what it is at the other end of the line the first seconds. It's so thrilling!
In my not so humble opinion the feeling will be stronger the lighter gear you use. The honor and admiration from other will be greater the smaller the hook is also. That's how it should be anyway! That is one way of describing my style of fly fishing for pike.

This is a typical piece of my kind of coastline. Absolutely no cliffs, deep water or raging surf.

This is how it should look. Just to wade out a few meters and start to cast.
Lay out the floating line a bit to the left and I can guarantee a pike will strike in at most five casts. Almost... 
There is nothing like 100% sureness of a catch here. That would be boring. But a day without even a bite is very rare though. 
But of course it happens once in a while and almost always I can come up with one or two good explanations why. 

 

 Often it occurs during weather circumstances I should have stayed at home.


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