Fly fishing for Pike

Published 17.06.19

There is nothing quite like hooking a large fish when fly fishing, it's incredibly fun. It's relatively easy to catch a pike if you find the right place and go at the right time. I got invited by Kai Finbråten on a fly fishing trip and I could not decline. Following are some quick tips on how to best land a pike.

Time and place: The best time for fishing large pike in the lower eastern part of Norway is in May. Even though it's possible to land large pike year round (I was once able to get a 7 kg fish in August!), the best chance to get one is when the pike have just finished spawning. Then the large and hungry females will hover close to her spawning spot and wait for nearby prey. Common places to find pike are in shallow flats, bays and deltas. If the water houses bream they will move in shortly to spawn after the pike is finishes, and will become part of the pikes' diet.

Red circle marks good spots for pike.
Red circle marks good spots for pike.

When you have found your spot:
Tread carefully in the reed as the pike may be laying still. Also look for roe sacks, as they would be the telltale sign whether the pike has come through to spawn yet. Aim your fly near the reeds and then work your way out. The ideal depth could be between 70-120 cm, but this may change. The best time to try your luck is when there is a high tide. Throw the fly and be playful while reeling it in. Vary the motions with quick and slow naps; stop for a bit and then pull again. Cast in a 180' shape and work your way methodically across the body of water.

Equipment: When fishing for pike, rods between 7-9 inches will work. If you use the larger flies, you may want to use 8 or 9 inch rods. You'll need floating fly lines and use either fluorocarbon leaders or wire leaders.

Release the pike

If you were to be lucky and hook a large specimen, I hope you will respect and release it back to where it came from. These pike have good genes that will hopefully carry on in large and healthy specimen for enjoyment for future generations of fly fishers.

//Christer Nannestad - Youtube & Instagram: Nansen_Bamsen

Translated by Bergljot Sindredottir Støer - Instagram: bergy_b

Todays catch. She was 114 cm. Quick photo and realesed,
Todays catch. She was 114 cm. Quick photo and realesed,