A Pike From Loch Lomond

It was cold, at one point there were hailstones – it was windy and on occasion just plain old raining. This was not your usual wind, this was lazy wind – a wind that is too lazy to go around you instead it just goes through your waterproof jacket, your windproof top and into your chest. All in all not nice weather – pretty much the same as last week if the truth be told however lessons were not learned and this time we at least felt that Spring was on the way as for a brief few moments the sun came out and warmed our heads – hell I think I even smiled. A kind chap called Nicolas from the Glasgow Angling Centre had put us on to this spot; confidentiality only allows a photo of the area.

As it was, in those few moments of what felt like Spring a male jack Pike on the way to the spawning beds on Loch Lomond decided to have a gnash at my fly –

A brief tussle ensued – the Pike obviously had other things on its mind – wild Pike Sex for a start…


The Pike was firmly hooked, I cursed myself for not de-barbing my hook – I had tied these up the day before and it had gone out of my head….however, the pike was unhooked while blood poured once more from my hand…

My fishing buddy has a new camera so it was nice to get some pictures of my fish for a change…..

The fly I have cunningly named the Emerald Interceptor as it is tied with a green zonker strip as a tail and then tied hackle like around the hook shank. Some glossy tinsel stuff and a pair of eyes make it a nice juvenile pike or perch imitation – or something like that anyway.

Not only is that my first Pike from Loch Lomond it is also my first fish of the year. Most gratifying as I doubt the start of the trout season will be up too much – it starts on Saturday and what with a severe weather warning across the whole of the UK I am not sure where we will end up.


  1. The Trout Underground · March 10, 2008

    Congratulations! That’s a fine looking fish. But how do you get that fly to float?

  2. mike · March 10, 2008

    Nicely done Alistair. A pike on the fly from a loch! What next?!?

  3. Alistair · March 10, 2008

    Hey Tom – at this time of year the Pike do not take flies off the surface so it is pulled like a streamer….during the summer they will take bushy flies drager across the surface – like a dry fly seemingly 🙂

    Mike – from a ditch !

  4. Emanuele · March 10, 2008

    well done pal,
    you are turning into a pike-machine….

  5. Billy · March 10, 2008

    A good rod bender!

  6. Alistair · March 10, 2008

    Hey Emanuele – you should be able to pick up plenty of Pike down your way – they wont take an F fly though…….well maybe an enormuous one !

    Billy – Thanks for commenting, it made a few dashes but i would say the ones I caught in Autumn put up more of a fight – I reckon the cold water and the fact that it was getting ready to get its rocks off maybe made it a little sluggish 🙂

  7. Alex · March 10, 2008

    Has your hand stopped bleeding yet?? It isn’t uncommon for folk to catch ten pound fish in Lomond, covered in bite marks!
    better tie up some yard-long emerald interceptors!!!

  8. scott · March 10, 2008

    nice pike! those bunny bug style flies look the business in the water, sport will really pick up over the next few weeks, the last few trips ive made have been successful, which makes a welcome change from the winter fish drought i suffered!

  9. Alistair · March 10, 2008

    Alex – once I washed my hand I found the tooth marks all over my thumb, very small but quite deep. A war wound – I love it!!

    Scott – Have you been picking them up on the canal? I would be interested in knowing if the coloured water has been affecting their ability to zone in on the fly.

  10. James "The Fly Fishing " Mann · March 10, 2008

    I am so jealous. I have not fished for pike since I left Ontario about 30 years ago. Here in New Brunswick Canada we have some great fish, salmon, trout, bass, sturgeon but instead of the mighty pike we have the pickerel.

    I love catching them but they don’t get huge like pike can.

    We are planning a little trip this summer and that might just be to Ontario. I will certainly take the time to hit a few of my old spots along the Black River.

    thanks for the great images. They bring back many great memories or monsters soaking us.

  11. scott · March 10, 2008

    nah ive not fished the canal in ages, they were from a wee stillwater which is heavily coloured but ive been fishing with deadbaits so it would be the smell theyre going on. Having said that, ive had them on lures when the water is really coloured , i guess its just pot luck though

  12. James · March 10, 2008

    Excellent fish. Not sure about keeping the location secret – the photos give away a lot ; )

  13. Alistair · March 10, 2008

    Hi James, it is a well known spot – there were two boats and a bivy tent set up in a space about 100 yards square. I reckon if you are intelligent enough to work out where it is from a photo you are intelligent enough to look up Pike spot son the net. I just don’t want to be the one that names it A bit of effort never hurt anyone – its good for the soul! 🙂

    (Unless it is 8 miles up a hill and through a bog)

  14. James · March 10, 2008

    A former colleague of mine (a pike angler of some talent) decided temporarily to give up bait chucking. His first attempts at pike on the fly were at your spot and he had great success.

    Yes – good policy not to name places. It’s nice to be able to share the knowledge when appropriate, but too many spots around Glasgow end up full of buckie-drinking bams fishing static bait on stolen sea tackle…

  15. Alistair · March 10, 2008

    Hey James “The Fly Fishing ” Mann – are pickerel predators as well ?

    Scott – Yea, I think lures are different in the coloured water as people use rattling plugs.

    James – 🙂

  16. thebigandyt · March 10, 2008

    Hey Alistair, bit of a techy question, but what set up do you use?
    I had a surprising introduction into pike fishing last season when they were hammering a cats whiskers i was using for trout, the fist time they struck, all i saw was a huge bow wave and then a slack line, it was like someone had taken a pair of scissors to my inadequate 4lb tippet. i didn’t even feel any resitance when i struck. It wasn’t until a smaller jack went at the replacement did i know that it was pike attacks. I often think back to what size of pike the first one might have been.

  17. scott · March 10, 2008

    I think that if the pike are hungry enough you will catch them, regardless how murky the water is, regardless of weather conditions etc.
    I have to say that most of my better pike days have been during “adverse” conditions, bright sunlight or whatever. Also check out my pal and i’s new blog, mostly about pike and trout fishing, only young but theres a few decent pictures on it. http://www.dryfliesanddeadbaits.blogspot.com

  18. James "The Fly Fishing " Mann · March 10, 2008

    Alistair, Pickerel are just like pike, teeth and all. The are huge predators but they just don’t get a big a some pike I have caught.

    The biggest I have caught is about 20 inches which was an awesome fighter but my buddy just had to out do me by getting one that was 26 inches.

    They are such bad characters that they will grab baits and not even have a hook in them but they won’t let go and you can pick them right up out of the water and they won’t let it go.

    We fish them from float tubes and just like pike they follow the bait right to the point you pull it out of the water.

    Well when your elbows can touch the water you get a few soaking and the crap scared out of you, a lot. Love it.

  19. Alistair · March 10, 2008

    thebigandyt – I reckon that answer deserves a dedicated post – I will work on it over the next few days 🙂

    Scott – Love the blog Scott, looks like you guys know more about the Pike fishing than I do…looking forward to seeing your catches. I will add you to me blogroll….we should meet up at some point over the next we while.

    James “The Fly Fishing ” Mann – sounds great – you got any pictures of the ones you have caught?

  20. James · March 10, 2008

    I thought pike were quite common across Canada. Still, must be nice to live on a continent whre there’s a choice of northern pike, pickerel and muskellunge 🙂

  21. scott · March 10, 2008

    Glad you like the blog alastair, like i say its still a bit young but hopefully soon there will be loads to post. We are by no means experts haha, we do a lot of pike fishing buts a fairly recent thing, ive still not even caught a pike on the fly, despite my attempts, to be honest ive given up too easily with it and succumbed to deadbaits far to easily. From what i gather though the fly comes into its own over the next few months, weve just been unlucky enough to take it up in winter.

  22. thebigandyt · March 10, 2008

    cheers, looking forward to it

  23. nicolas valentin · March 10, 2008

    so happy for you ,and also thank you for the story!!dont catch all my fish!!

  24. Alistair · March 10, 2008

    You been out much Nicolas?

  25. nicolas valentin · March 10, 2008

    not been fishing much,due to weather mostly ,but will soon !!love to read your blog,absolutly brilliant …keep the good work ..!

  26. Alistair · March 10, 2008

    Hi Nicolas – yup where is the Spring? I was expecting to see rising trout by now !

  27. Jim · March 10, 2008

    It’s spring on the smaller rivers Alistair. I managed a half dozen or so with dries on Saturday and the two b******* I fish with were out every day last week and sending me texts at work to rub it in. With friends like that … etc

    We’ll need to sort out some fishing soon, get your dries floating.


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