Limited Edition of 100, 8″ x 19″ – $120.00
Open Edition 14″ x 7″ – $35.00
After the spawn and the ice melts, it’s time to fly fish for pike. In Alberta and Saskatchewan, the end of May usually provides excellent fishing conditions. Pike are aggressive, hungry, and found in the shallows as the water temperatures are warmer. Heat increases the metabolic rate; they become more active, and the need for food and energy is heightened. Fighting for territorial rights during the spawn has been exhausting. Often fish caught after the spawn are scarred from battle. Sometimes whole fins are missing, and scales are raked with teeth marks. It is common to find a large fish with another in its gullet. At the same time that fish will also take a large fly tied with rabbit strip – testimony to the voracious feeding habits of large pike. Such a fish can be five feet long and weigh over fifty pounds.
Northern pike, because of their size and strength, are truly sporting game fish. The body shape allows the fish to thrust forward with great speed and power. The dorsal and anal fins are well back close to the tail fin. This positioning gives rapid acceleration and permits numerous successive runs; therefore, pike are exciting to catch, and a lunker will test a fisherman’s skill, as well as a nine weight fly rod, line, and steel leader.
In the composition, “Fly Fishing,” a black leech fly puffs, narrows, and undulates as the fly line is stripped with a series of pulls and pauses. The up-down and puffing action of the fly silhouetted against the sunlit surface of the water attracts a large pike from below. It inhales the hook. As the jaws shut, the line tugs forward. With rod tip close to the water’s surface, the line is jerked backward embedding the hook firmly into the jaw. The large pike turns, and with fins spread, it thrusts in the opposite direction. The tail and posterior fins swing rapidly from side to side propelling the lubricated torpedo body with lightening speed. The reel screams. The sound lessens as the powerful run slows. This action is repeated several times. The fish eventually tires and floats aimlessly on its side, but the contest is not over until the pike is netted. The fisherman then carefully releases the hook and returns the pike to the water, revives it, and lets it go. Now a new cycle of events can occur. The fish continues to propagate and can again give the same excitement and bragging rights to others.