35th Wffc Bih 2015

World Fly Fishing Championship 2019

Fly In Trips for Giant Northern Pike | Saskatchewan

Fly In Trips for Giant Northern Pike | Saskatchewan


– One of my favorite
times of year to target giant northern
pike is right after ice-out when the season is open
just after they spawn. You can often catch
giant northern pike in less than a foot of water. Well, what if I was to tell you that I found a place where
you could target these fish in these conditions
all season long? This place does exist, and its in Saskatchewan, Canada. Welcome to Milton Lake lodge. The true home of
pure pike paradise. This northern pike
adventure starts right now, on The New Fly Fisher. (music) – [Mark Voiceover] This
is Milton Lake lodge in the wilds of northern
Saskatchewan, Canada. Milton Lake lodge is
fast becoming well known for it’s high
populations of big fish. Part of the Porcupine
river system, there are seemingly
endless waters to explore in search of trophy northern
pike, giant lake trout and the keepers of the rivers; the northern sailfish,
arctic grayling. Milton Lake lodge is the
only lodge within the region so it’s guaranteed
guests will have the entire system to themselves. Milton Lake is a
unique body of water in that throughout the summer, there are very little changes
throughout the water column. After spawn, northern
pike will retreat to deeper sections of the lake but won’t ever really go deep, they relate to the flats
coming up to feed regularly. Well, what does this mean? Well generally,
anglers will have shots at shallow water fish
for most of the season, if not all. Sight fishing to Northern
Pike in July? Perfect! – The bigger fish
in the you know, early June, will
stage up in here and they may be a little
bit more lethargic then they get more and more
active but they’re always there. Just this last week, in July, we’re catching them on
the fly, up in the flats, in against the weeds, a
foot from the shoreline, the fishing in the shallows
is here year ’round. Though sometimes it may be
better for different situations but it’s always there. – [Mark Voiceover]
Milton lake lodge is a fly in fishing destination accessed by float plane. We got settled immediately
and hit the water in search of big
northern pike on fly. Guiding this week
is Giovanni Natale, a seasoned fly angler
unto his own right. Gio knows Milton lake very well and gets right to business after a short ride
to our first spot. Today is down right nasty
with extremely high winds, big water and intermittent rain. Perfect for pike. We head into a
sheltered back bay and begin our week of fishing in three to four feet of water. – Fish! Oh not bad. Might be the big fish
of the day so far, we’ve had an interesting
go of it today. A cold front has moved in
big time and it’s raining and it’s blowing like
crazy, so what we’ve done is we’ve come into these
little back muskeg bays. We moved a bunch of fish
all, just over 24, 28 inches but we decided to cast out
in the middle of the bay and this might be the
big one of the day. It’s giving me one heck
of a fight. Oh yeah. On cold nasty days don’t spend
your time on your vacation in the lodge, you’re
here to catch fish. And there are fish to be caught, all you need to do
is put your time in, oh he’s not a
giant but he’ll do, for a healthy one of the
day he’ll be alright. Nice northern, yeah,
28 inches? Good fish. A barbless hook
just pops right out. What we’re using is
called a game changer. This is in a trout pattern,
a rainbow trout pattern and so far, it’s
changin’ the game look at that, just a
great looking northern, this across the back. Yep. Should let you know when
they’re good to go (laughs) just fantastic. – [Mark] Oh there’s
some grass in here – [Giovanni] Yeah, yep. – [Mark] And what
are they feeding on? – I would think that in
here you’ve got a mix of there’s white fish, ciscoes,
they’ll be feeding heavily on burbot, it seems to
be they’re favorite. When we get shore lunch
fish we normally see at least one or two good
sized burbot in their stomach. You know something pretty
meaty like six to eight inch. – Well I think we got the best
fish of the day on so far. Oh, there he goes. Now, barbless hooks,
imperative that you have a high rod tip and you
fight them off the tip, keep that line tight. And as they go left move
to right, right and left. Yep, good fish, best
fish of the day. Whoo!
– Whoa! (laughing) Oh yeah it’s got girth. – [Mark] Yeah, I think he’s
about ready, got him. Sweet. Whoo, good. Now what I
like about these nets, is look at the size of them. These nets are absolutely huge
and what I like about them is they’re so big you
don’t need to do anything. All you need to do is
relax and take you time. And that fly just popped. – [Giovanni] I
think he was hungry. – I think he was hungry too. (laughs) So once again, big bird did it. Now, these fish are
feeding on burbot, so the burbot that I’ve seen
here are about this big, you know and the fly size
is kinda close to that and burbot are
generally a brown fish with sort of yellow
spots and yellow hues, so we’ve got a little
bit of a darker fly that’s predominantly
yellow with a dark head and that seemed to do
it for this northern. (gentle music) – [Mark Voiceover] Coming
up, we go even shallower for the northern pike
of Milton Lake lodge. There’s very little structure
throughout the main body of Milton Lake
throughout the summer. There is a smattering
of lily pads at the inflow and the
outflow of the lake. Most northern pike are
relating to hard structure in the lake such
as wood and rock. We find a very shallow bay
with small boulders throughout. (mellow upbeat music) – [Giovanni] Big
one at 7 o’clock, 7 am, right there, yeah.
Beautiful, beautiful. Oh yeah you got it. – Fantastic!
– Nice job! – Well there you go thats
partnership for you right. Giovanni saw that
fish spook out said, “7 o’clock, cast,
now, little further, “little further, got it”. And this thing came up and
ate this fathead, fantastic. Look at that he’s
going for a run, – [Giovanni] (chuckles) Yeah, I love it, look at
the run (laughs). – There has been a cold
front the last couple of days and today is quite warm, almost, it is T-shirt weather actually. Like these fish are now
starting to come back into these back bays to
warm up chasing bate fish. I love it when that happens, sight-casting to
large northerns. Ooh nice! Big mouth. Sweet. Good fish. (high fives) Yes!
That’s awesome. (splashing water) Just like that, again, on
the orange and black fathead. That’s a good fly, I like it. Alright let’s see what we’re
dealing with here, shall we? That’s a heavy
fish, look at that. Sight-cast up here in
Northern Saskatchewan at Milton Lake lodge, we got
a length of 31 1/2 inches. Not a giant but when you
an sight-cast these guys in shallow water, it’s
perfect, isn’t it? – [Giovanni] Beautiful fish. (ebullient music) Just hit 63 degrees. – [Mark] Wow, what do you think
that’s gonna with the pike? – I think it’ll warm ’em up from what we’re
seeing is the bigger, the pike are getting
bigger and bigger as the weather gets warmer
and as the water gets warmer. So hopefully those
big pike will come into the shallows
now off their shelves and their deep spots
and start feeding. And hopefully
they’ll feed on fly’s that look like yours. – Yep
(laughs) – [Mark Voiceover] So
we pick up and move to find even shallower
water, it was the right move. – [Mark] Oh that was a big fish. Right out of that. – [Giovanni] Right in the back. – [Mark] right in that corner. (mellow acoustic music) Whoo! – Oh yeah!
– Big fish! – There’s — oh! Money fish,
oh that was a big fish, that was well over
40, that was huge. It’s still right
there. Right there. I just lost the
pike of my career. Oh! That was– – [Giovanni] What was that? – [Mark] That was what pike
dreams are made out of. – [Giovanni] That was like
six pike in the same place. – [Mark] Yeah. I’ve
never seen (expels air) I’ve never seen anything
like that in my life – [Giovanni] That’s what they
do when they’re like spawning but they’re not
spawning, they’re just, one freaked out the other. – [Mark] One attacked the fly. – Wow, that was just awesome. I’m gonna inch in slowly,
give you a chance to try every inch of water. (light gentle music) – [Mark] This probably
isn’t gonna happen today. – [Mark Voiceover] What an
unbelievable sequence of events to have so many big fish
attack within an hour and miss every single one. So, as they say three
strikes and you’re out. We decide to switch
gears for the evening and hit the Porcupine River. Maybe the luck will
change fishing grayling. Arctic grayling are
an untouched commodity at Milton Lake Lodge. Just a five minute boat
ride from the dock, lands you in a
stretch of white water full of these arctic jewels. And though they will
hit small streamers, wooly buggers and other
sub surface offerings, they seem to always be looking
up and readily take dries. – [Mark] Alright, here we go,
first grayling of the day. – [Mark Voiceover]
Mornings and evenings are prime time for these fish, but really you have shots
at them all day long. They are the perfect distraction when big northern pike
frustration kicks in. Tomorrow will be
another day for sure. Milton Lake Lodge is a
wonderful full service remote fly-in fishing lodge in the wilds of
Northern Saskatchewan. The great room is
something to behold as are the views from
the all window front. Accommodations are wonderful
and the food is fantastic. Milton Lake Lodge is a
place to feel at home, with family, friends
and other anglers. – Fishing here a the
lodge is fantastic especially the northern pike, which a lot of people
come here for, is great. For the number of quantities, we have good quality fish and you always have the
chance to get you trophy fish. We opened up a new avenue
that we knew was here but never explored and we
found the arctic grayling up in the inflow and the outflow so that’s a tremendous
opportunity going
forward in my view. The whole experience
is you got a lot of shallow water to fish, a lot of big sand flats
you got nice weed beds and the river is
fantastic as well. So there’s plenty
of opportunities, you could have four
boats in the water and never see each other. We have no other
lodges anywhere near us and so the fishing pressure
is when we go out and fish. And I try to limit that
further by catch and release, good conservation,
barbless hooks and all so. – Well yesterday was the
first day of a warming trend here at Milton Lake lodge. Today is fixing to be
an absolute scorcher, we’re hoping that
these big northern pike have moved from the deeper
water up into these shallows so there’s only one way to
find out, see what we got. (boat engine roaring) – [Giovanni] Oh nice one, I’m gonna go out a
little deeper Mark. – [Mark] Go ahead. Came right off the point.
– Yeah. – Its funny because I was
looking in that little cranny, I put a fly in there
– yeah. – And a couple little bait fish
popped as soon as my fly hit and I sort of went (groans) that means there’s no
pike in there right. (splashing water) It’s a barbless hook so,
scoop, good job, nice. Best fish of the trip
(high fives) alright. That’s amazing. – [Giovanni] Oh that
was a beautiful strike. – Alright, that’s nice,
so this one we got on the, once again, the fathead,
the orange fathead. Let’s take a look
at this guys hey. Nice one, okay, we’ll
get some pictures, we gonna let him go. (upbeat acoustic music) [Mark Voiceover] As
the sun got warmer, the fish were on the move. We pulled in to yet another bay on Milton Lake and put another
piece of the puzzle together. (light upbeat music) – Get the fish. – [Giovanni] That’s a good one. – Just take our time,
this barbless hook, bring him to the net. Whoo hoo! (laughs) That’s what you come
to Milton Lake lodge for I’m telling ya. yeah let’s get him in the net, he’s barely hooked
in that lower jaw. – [Giovanni] Okay. – You travel a long way for an opportunity
at fish like this. And we’re not sure if
this is a trophy yet but I’m here to tell
you that right now, it’s the biggest fish we’ve
caught since we’ve been here. We put in our time,
and we’ve caught some really, really great fish. But this one’s big. There. At Milton Lake lodge. Gator, northern pike. The pike in these back bays
were literally coming out of they’re funk before our eyes. Regular speed stripping
wasn’t cutting it so we had to make a change
and speed it up. And that slight
increase of fly speed was all we needed
to turn ’em on. [Giovanni] Here we go. – [Mark] Oh my gosh there’s
tons of fish in there. – [Giovanni] Good, good. – Fish. Got a long one. Whoa! Don’t you know I got
a barbless hook on here? Wow (both laughing)
– Whoa! – I’ve got this
drag cranked down. – [Giovanni] That is amazing. – Right the nets, ooh wee. So the technique that we’re
using to catch these fish involves a little
bit of boat movement and what I call a
barracuda strip, where you put the rod
underneath your arm and you strip as
fast as you can. The boat being in
forward simply gives you that little bit of extra speed
that the fish really need to be enticed on a bite. We’re in 72 degree
water and they just need that little bit of extra speed. So G is just kickin’ in forward, I’m casting it out, strip,
strip, strip, strip, strip and it seems to be
doing the taking. There you go. That is a fantastic
northern pike. – [Giovanni] Pushing 34. – 34 inches, how sweet
is that. Fantastic. Speed is what you need sometimes to lure these back water gators. (gentle music) [Mark Voiceover] Coming up, more Milton lake
lodge water wolves. (mellow music) – Doing battle with the water
wolves at Milton Lake lodge you better come
well-armed for a fight. This is a nine
weight, nine foot rod, we also use ten weights as well for the big poppers
and big streamers. Paired up with a
large arbor reel, these fish will take you
well into your fly line, weight forward, nine weight
and ten weight, floating lines, with a sink tip if
you do require one. And on the business
end I like to run 20 to 30 pound mono
or fluorocarbon from the fly line to 20 to
30 pound titanium bite wire. It’s knottable where you
can tie on your streamers and you giant poppers for
these very aggressive fish. (mellow feel-good music) – [Mark] Aw! Missed him. Got him! So if you ever have a tough day, fishing northern pike when
you can sight cast with them. Stick that fly right under your
arm and barracuda strip in. It’ll pay in dividends. Northern pike in 2 1/2 feet
of water, in July. (laughs) one more time. And what they’re chasing is
really nothing other than a fleeing yellow perch,
green, black and orange. Oh yeah! (Giovanni chuckles) – So how do like sight casting for northern pike in July, huh? (laughs) Fantastic fish, at
a fantastic fishery. (groans) Got ya! Look at that (laughs) that is fantastic. [Mark Voiceover] So that
about does it for this episode of The New Fly Fisher
thanks for watching. I want to take a moment
to thank everyone at Milton lake lodge for
their incredible hospitality and of course the
fantastic fishing. For more on Milton
lake lodge and fishing in Saskatchewan, check us out
at www.thenewflyfisher.com I’m mark Melnyk and remember, adventure is out there and
what better way than to do it with a fly rod in your hand. Thanks for watching
and hopefully, we’ll see you in
the back country.

8 thoughts on “Fly In Trips for Giant Northern Pike | Saskatchewan

  1. Incredible fishing Congratulations Fisherman!
    Have a very successful week, Good fishing always.👍

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