Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's Pike Season Baby!!

It's that time of not Trout, it's time for Pike!

For those that haven't tried to tame one of these big beast get ready for some time on the water and after many hours, few thousand casts, prepare for a freight train to hit that super huge fly at the end of your 7 weight.

I've been keeping a watchful eye on some local water in the Colorado Front Range area and after more snow, than warmer weather a few lakes became alive for the 2008 season. There are a number of lakes here in Colorado that if you talk to some pro's about can point you in the right direction, keep in mind that not many fly shops even know about where to fish for these toothy critters or the tackle involved. After spending some time in Canada going after Pike it makes it so sweet to go in my own backyard to have some fun.

So far this Spring has been a good one and after a few outings I've managed to land a number of Pike in the 25-30" range and it's time to take a break from those 14" trout now when it's one of the best times of year to go after a potential 35-40" Pike.
"Northern Pike aren't glamerous, but neither are their terrestrial stalkers"
Where to go you ask?
Here's a few lakes to get you going..
11 Mile Reservoir
Lathrop Reservoir
Stagecoach Reservoir
Crawford Reservoir
Rifle Gap
Rio Blanco Lake

Spring Tips:
-Get a good thermometer, look for shalllows that are atleast 50 degrees
-Use 10-12inch strips, use a slower retrieve if the water is cooler, speed up your strip as it warms up
-Look for a weedy dark bottom in the lake
-Big forceps (10"-15" works wonder when retrieving your fly
-Using a #25lb mono set up should work fine, also if needed a shock tippet, or a steel leader
-7 weight rod or 8 weight if wind is around works great if wind is around or for a long day of casting
-Bucktails, Bunny flies are the ticket and the bigger the better. Decimeter-long trailers in varying shades of Flashabou in an icy-blue and silver work well, along with solid black, seemed to be the ticket the last few weeks here in Colorado.
-Six to a 10 foot leader should work well but I've caught them with a 5 foot leader so it doesn't have to be exact

On Rivers and reservoirs where Pike season is continuous scan for pre-spawn fish off or near steep rock breaks and below dam areas. Not long after, usually around March and April, these fish move to shallower areas to feed and later reproduce. The next is the breeding process which occurs in backwater areas off of a main channel as well as near some feeder creek if you're targeting river areas.

Have fun and one last bit of advice, DON'T STICK YOUR FINGERS IN THAT MOUTH unless you want to loose them, very sharp teeth and gills!!

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