Pike – not playing ball with the fly…

Well, two sessions after Pike the last two weekends – result – nil points!

I took peoples advice and on the deeper sections (the canal basins) I used a fast sinking leader – it got the fly down deeper but did not manage to raise a Pike from the depths. After a couple of hours I drove to the Glasgow Angling Centre for some materials to tie up some more horrors (when you are used to tying klinkhammes anything that looks like a Christmas tree is a horror) and spoke to Nicolas one of the employees of the shop. He mentioned he often caught Pike on the fly at another stretch of the canal so I decided to head there.

It is quite strange actually as this stretch is not as urban as the stretch just next to my house. It is also not as weedy – on reflection I think this may be something to do with the extra boat traffic and possibly just a little extra flow. I have caught Pike here in the past on plugs and I know Alex has had them on the fly here so I was feeling optimistic. Strangely, I was still feeling optimistic as I collapsed my rod at the end of another couple of hour’s stint.

Last Sunday was pretty much more of the same except I stayed at my home stretch as I did not have the car. We were expecting visitors in the afternoon so I was up at 8am and hitting the canal at 0815. I met James on the canal side (you may see him in the comments section from time to time) and we had a chat about Pike and other places we had fished that year. I learned later he had the same luck as me.

I am doing a fair bit of reading at the moment about Pike behaviour and have found out that:

  • Pike like a few days of consistent weather before they begin to feed.
  • They do not like heavy rain as it messes with there brains (I am sure there is a fancy word I could use there.
  • They usually take there prey in their mouths before moving off and turning it to swallow it head first.

Interesting about the turning the prey head first part – The first Pike that took my fly did move off a few yards with the fly – what I should have done was strike but I think I was in a state of shock (never mind hand numbingly cold) to actually do anything.

You live and learn – more action on Saturday with Alan possibly!


  1. scott · November 7, 2007

    My pike fishing has been equally successful lately, 0 fish in the last four or five trips using a variety of methods. Sometimes i think pike anglers get the wrong idea about this winter fishing business, the tail end of the summer was dynamite whereas now the only thing that sticks in my mind from recent sessions is how cold i got.
    Also, on the subject of the canal try fishing tiny dries for roach in the summer, when theres no water in the kelvin thats a fantastic alternative, you can easily spot massive shoals of them sipping flies off the top, use a longish leader about 10-12 feet and make sure your fly line lands nowhere near them or they’ll scatter instantly, its nowhere as easy as it seems at first though, they are extremely quick to spit your fly out!

  2. Alistair · November 7, 2007

    Welcome Scott,

    I have seen the big shoals of roach – a fantastic idea to try and get them with dries – is that a tactic you use regulary ? Where abouts roughly have you been trying for the Pike in the last few weeks ?


  3. scott · November 7, 2007

    Its something i just started doing this summer, had a few short sessions on my local stretch of the canal between kilsyth and twechar, theyre fantastic fun on a 3 weight rod.
    As for the pike, ive fished a couple of waters, again ive tried the canal from twechar all the way to banknock, ive also fished st maurices pond and broadwood loch in cumbernauld, and another water ive only recently found in kilsyth which has provided the majority of my pike this year, ive seen it produce fish between 3lbs and 14-15lbs, not the easiest water to fish with the fly but there are a few open stretches where you can cast without worrying about trees etc behind you, incidentally its packed with roach and rudd which also make for great fun on dries, something i intend to spend a lot more time on in the summer.

  4. Alistair · November 7, 2007

    You going to be around on Saturday Scott ?

  5. scott · November 7, 2007

    I hope to fit in a few hours early morning aye, hopefully i can break the rut i seem to be stuck in !

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