35th Wffc Bih 2015

World Fly Fishing Championship 2019

Big Pike on a Fly – Lodge 88

Big Pike on a Fly – Lodge 88


(synthesizer music) – [Narrator] Welcome, everyone,
to The New Fly Fisher. Fishing for northern
pike has been a life-long passion since I was a young boy. Today, that passion
has extended into my love for fly fishing. Catching pike on a
fly is so much fun, and something
everyone should try. Even my daughter, Jenna,
now has been afflicted, and loves to cast
flies for big pike. – Fish on! – [Man] Yep! – [Narrator] In this
episode, we’ve traveled to Northern Ontario, to
one of the top places to catch pike on a fly:
Lodge Eighty Eight. In this fascinating,
show, we’ll discuss how pike hunt their
prey, fly patterns to use for different conditions,
rigging options, and much, much more. It’s gonna be a great
one, so stay with us. (guitar music) [Announcer] The New Fly
Fisher has been made possible thanks to: Algoma Country; Go Fish in Ontario dot com; Orvis Sporting Traditions; Rio Products; Superfly: fly fishing made easy. (synthesizer music) [Narrator] I love traveling
to Northern Ontario. The fresh air, the wilderness experience, great fishing, and best of all, no
crowds and no people. That is one of the
wonderful aspects of going to a fly-in location
like Lodge Eighty Eight. Lodge Eighty Eight is in
the heart of Algoma Country, nestled close to
Chapleau Game Preserve. The lodge is located on
28-mile-long Esnagi Lake, which is a relatively
deep water system that possesses a robust population
of walleye, whitefish, and northern pike. Though the lake has
some deep sections, it also possesses
great bays, reefs, and later in the summer,
well-developed weed beds. All are perfect structure
for northern pike fishing. – Oh! – [Jenna] Fish on! – Yep! There he is! – Ooh! Haven’t gotten a
good look at it yet, but it’s fightin’ pretty well. Once again, it’s the golden
zone, just like you were saying, that calm spot right
above the current, and then slowly twitching
the fly over the current, over the big boulders, and
that’s where they’re hiding. A nice little guy, there. Got him? – There he is! – [Jenna] Great! – Beautiful. – [Narrator] Thanks to
the large populations of walleye and whitefish, the
pike here grow fairly large. Most anglers actually
come to the lodge for the walleye fishing,
which is legendary. But some, like me, have come
to cast for the big pike. It’s been seven years
since I was here last. At that time I had a
spectacular experience, catching pike on a fly,
many on topwater patterns. My memories are
still vivid of those great fish-catching moments. – So we’re just carefully
working over the weed bed, and that’s where the
pike are right now. (grunting) – Holy mackerel is
that a big fish! Did you see ’em, John? – [John] Oh, I seen
him. He crushed it, eh? – He did, he hoovered it. Ooh, strong fish. What we’ve got is
really high winds, and that’s what’s been
causing us a lot of grief, ’cause we know
the fish are here, we keep seein’ ’em, but– – [John] Just gettin’ ’em. – Keep pullin’ us off
the top of the weed bed. So, I’ve been using
a full-sinking line, Oh, look at ’em,
that’s a nice fish! – [John] Nice fish. – Nice, thick one. – [John] He crushed
that, eh, Colin? – [Colin] Oh he
just hammered it. – [John] Just hammered it. We’re gonna use a
net on this one, because with these
wind conditions. – [Colin] I’ll try to
get ’em up. Look at ’em. – [John] Oh, he’s not ready yet. – Whoa! Oh! Oh that’s a big fish! – [John] Whoa, look at
the head on that fish, eh? – [Colin] That’s a beauty. – [John] He’s gonna go again,
so just try to keep … ’cause I don’t want
to get him too green. Head first, oh! There we go, my friend! – [Colin] Right on. – [John] Wow, look
at that northern. – Look at that. Now this is why I’ve come here. You see the red in his sides? That’s from the spawning. This fish spawned
not that long ago. Look at the size; 38 inches. That is a killing machine. Just wait till
he’s revived a bit. He’s ready. He’s already starting to kick. There he goes. [Narrator] With those
great memories in mind, I thought Lodge Eighty
Eight was the perfect place to bring my daughter,
Jenna, to experience some outstanding pike fishing. Jenna has already had some
experience with pike fishing, and when I told her
about this trip, she jumped at the chance to go. When we return, Jenna and
I head out in search of big pike on the lake. But first, we have to deal
with some weather issues. (guitar music) [Narrator] It’s the end of
May here in Northern Ontario. Traditionally a time when
air temperatures are rising, and all of nature is
ready for warm weather. However, two days
before Jenna and I arrived at Lodge Eighty Eight, the weather played
a very nasty trick. It snowed. Because lake water tends
to hold temperature, when there is a dramatic
change, it usually results in aquatic Armageddon,
especially when it comes to warm-water species,
such as bass, walleye, and northern pike. Though the snow had melted
by the time we arrived, the damage had been
done to the fishery. The lake water temperatures,
which had been slowly rising since ice out, did
a full reversal, and actually dropped
by nearly five degrees. Of course, this change
meant the northern pike were off the bite, because
the colder water temperatures were actually slowing
down their metabolism. So that meant tougher
fishing conditions and a need for Jenna and I to
slow down our presentations. Though Jenna was catching
lots of the smaller pike, the big, 38-inch to 45-inch
pike Esnagi Lake is famous for were just not playing. – Ooh! I think it’s a pike; I haven’t gotten a
good look at it yet. Oh yeah, that’s a pike. – [Colin] Oh, it’s a nice pike! – Looks to be a good
size, too, yeah, right there in the corner
of the jaw, which is great. Right where we want it. Excellent. – Nice fish. Alright, there you go! – [Jenna] Looks great; thanks. – That’s a nice pike, there. – As it is Murphy’s Law, we
were just about ready to leave. We hadn’t caught anything:
no bites, no hits, weren’t seeing anything,
and I decided to give it one last cast before we left,
and lo and behold (whoosh) they came in. – [Narrator] Northern
pike are unique predatory creatures
of evolution. They have developed
highly-refined sensory systems to help them locate, track,
and attack prey items. As anglers, if we understand
how these systems work, we can adapt our
presentations and patterns to better trigger a response. The first sensory system pike
depend upon for locating prey is their lateral line. The lateral line is
essentially a series of pores in their skin, which
act as neuromasts for picking up slight
water pressure movements. A struggling bait fish
gives off frequencies that the pike’s
neuromasts detect, signaling that this
is a fish in distress, and a possible easy meal. That’s why flies,
which give off sound, such as jointed
streamer patterns, or even flies with
built-in rattles, work so well. Of course, a large topwater
popper that disturbs the surface, is the
best signal to a pike, that the dinner
bell has been rung. The second sensory system a
pike relies upon is vision. A northern pike’s eyes
are placed on their head to provide them with exceptional
forward and side vision. This dorsally-oriented vision
is ideal for lie-in-wait, ambush hunters like pike. Big northerns love
to lie in the bottom, or in structure
like thick weeds, waiting to pounce on
unsuspecting prey. Fly fishers can better
succeed by carefully working over structure,
such as weed bed edges, beaver lodges, and
even drop-offs. You need to slow down
your presentation with your fly as it goes
by these structures, so that pike have a
chance to spot your fly and then attack. Another means by which a
pike’s vision can be used to our advantage is
by understanding how they perceive prey visually. Known as predator
prey discrimination, a pike will use
silhouette, contrast, and behavior as a means
of determining what is a genuine prey target. If our fly is the right
size and silhouette of a common food source,
such as a cisco or a perch, then one target
criteria has been met. If our fly displays good
contrast, or luminosity, as many bait fish do, then
again, another tick in the box. Then finally, if our fly
is presented in a manner that replicates the way the
target species swims or acts, then we have the
complete package. Of course, all of this
predator prey discrimination is processed in a flash
by the pike’s small brain, thanks to evolution. What does this mean
to us as anglers? First, we should cast flies
that are the right size, to match what the pike
are commonly eating. Second, does our pattern
have the right colors or contrast to match that prey? And finally, if we
present the fly by using the right retrieve
at the right depth, to match what the pike
expects of the prey, then it’s all gonna
come together. Tick off all the
items in the box, and then we should trigger
a response from the pike, or any other predatory
fish species. It’s that simple. When we return, we start
to get more action, and solve the problem caused
by temperature inversion. Stay with us. (synthesizer music) – Today, we’re just about
to go into Rock Lake, a great spot for
fishing for brook trout, and lake trout. I can hardly wait
to get started. (synthesizer music) – Alright, so uh, we’re here
in the back of Rock Lake. We got a couple bit of rocks. There’s some underwater
rocks here, too. What we’re gonna do
is just … it’s about an eight to 10 foot
flat before it goes out into the lake, here. So we’re gonna try to fish this. It’s a little bit of a stream
that runs in behind us. And we’re just gonna
give it a shot. – That sounds great. I think I’m gonna start
here with a wooly bugger in this yellow-brown color. And I’ve actually
got it attached to an intermediate sinking line. This sinking line sinks
at about one and a half to two inches per second, and
that’s really gonna get it down deep into the water column. We don’t want it too deep, but
we really need to make sure that it’s visible to the fish. So, let’s see what we can catch. (synthesizer music) We’ve decided to switch
to a weighted fly in this burgundy
color, to try and see if we can attract the
fish a little bit deeper in the water column. Yes! – Alright, here we are. – Ready? Ooh, no,
he’s not ready. That’s okay; I just wanna get
him out the way of the boat. Okay. Ooh! We’ll give him a second. Beautiful fish. Yes! – There we are. – Woo! – Beautiful. – Finally. – Good fish. – So we’re just fishing
this rock bed here; you can see there’s
some big boulders sticking out of the water. And just, nice,
quick strips, and– – Beautiful. – Finally. Great. – There we are; I
love that color. – That’s a great … beautiful. – There we go. Goodbye, baby. – There he goes. – There she goes. – Great, thanks so much, friend. – Good job. – Yes! Let’s see if we
can find someone else. – [Narrator] Lodge Eighty
Eight is a beautiful, handcrafted lodge
that has been helping accommodate anglers
since the 1950s, and hosted by the
McLaughlin family. The original, beautiful
lodge still exists, but over 15 years ago,
the McLaughlin family tore down the old
cabins and built spacious and comfortable new
ones that matched the lodge. Each cabin is equipped with
full bathrooms with showers, fridges, and everything
you need to enjoy your time in the wilderness. Unique to Lodge Eighty
Eight is the fact you can either take a float plane
in from White River, or jump on the train in
the same location for a wonderful ride through
the boreal forest. It was our last day,
and Jenna decided to stay back at the
lodge and relax, so Dad went out for
some final casts on some deepwater cabbage. And the next thing you know, I was into some nice
pike on streamers. It feels like he’s
done two runs on me, so quickly, before we could
even get the camera going, we’re fishing in the
middle of this channel. I’ve got cabbage
over here on my left, and some cabbage over
here on my right, and it’s a drop from
five feet down to eight. I don’t know how
big this guy is, but he’s fighting like he’s big. Ah, he’s not bad;
he’s not huge, but he’s a good, solid … that’s
a solid 32-, 33-incher. I’d say … oh wow, look
at this … (laughs) This is like the third run. He was rippin’
line off this reel. I’ve got 30-pound
test wire leader. So I’m pretty safe with this. Oh yeah, he’s not
even that long, and you can see he’s
really, really thick. The fish here, in Esnagi
Lake, get very, very heavy ’cause there’s so much food. They’ve got whitefish,
lots of whitefish. Lots of perch. And lots and lots of walleye. He’s gonna fill this net! Whoa, whoa, whoa! Huh oh oh oh, that’s
what we came for, a fish like this. There we go, take that out. Oh, nice, big, thick one. Look how thick he is
across the shoulders. And do a quick
measurement, here. He is approximately, he’s just a tid
around 30 inches, so. Take him, put him over here. I love catching pike on a fly. And on top of that, you’ve
got brook trout here. Which is great. (synthesizer music) (synthesizer music) – Well, as often happens,
the famous “one last cast,” cameraman had turned
off the camera, was packing away the
gear, we were done, and got this fish. And so all of the big
runs have been missed, and this is a nice,
thick, heavy fish. Whoa, and he’s not quite done. Look at that. He took my fly, he’s gonna fill this net. Oh yeah, oh yeah, I’ve got
a problem with the net. Oh! How’s that for a big fish. (grunting) That’s
a beautiful fish. Get her in the water right away. You can imagine this,
in 40-plus inches. Look at that. She’ll let me know, this
is probably a female. Big pike always usually are. Oh yeah. There she goes. Wow. One last cast; sometimes
it really works well. Hope you enjoyed today’s show, learned a lot, Jenna and I had a lot
of fun being here. If you wanna learn
more about this show, places we’ve been and
the equipment we’ve used, techniques, go to our website, The New Fly Fisher dot com. From all of us here
at The New Fly Fisher, thanks for joining us. We’ll see you soon. (guitar music) – [Announcer] The New Fly
Fisher has made possible thanks to: Algoma Country; Go Fish in Ontario dot com; Orvis Sporting Traditions; Rio Products; Superfly: Fly fishing made easy. (guitar music)

3 thoughts on “Big Pike on a Fly – Lodge 88

  1. Try tiger tail Jewellery wire it's coated in nylon black in colour is best you can tie knots in it to make rapala loops very reasonably priced reliable my friend has successfully landed double figure pike on it and is durable even on expensive wire you have to change the ripper I have found the wire to be reliable .kind regards Steve

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