Each trip out has me learning something new and applying something I’ve seen or read, to the way I fish. It doesn’t always produce fish BUT if your bait isn’t in the water you won’t catch fish. I recounted my recent pike strike on the fly which was up close and personal and a sight I won’t forget in a long time… OK, so I didn’t bank the fish but with a slight alteration to the pattern I’ll be “cooking on gas”!
I have said before that I have two books that are thumbed at every opportunity and they are both on the subject of pike fly fishing… The authors are without a shadow of a doubt two of the best exponents of the sport and perhaps responsible for inspiring many of us.
One of the authors is Barry Reynolds (the other is Ad Swier). Barry resides in Colorado and has been guiding for over 20 years… so one heck of a lot of experience. His book “Mastering Pike on the Fly” is a gem… if you were allowed only one book to accompany you on a fishing trip of a lifetime this is the one you would read on the plane and pack in with you! It is not just a book, it is an instruction manual into the psyche of the pike enabling you to solve many pike related riddles… reading the book you would swear that Barry had been a pike in a previous life and is here in human form giving away the secrets.
The book can be read straight through, it is easy to read or you can use it as a reference tool as you can refer back to it again and again with ease. It has a great index… editors listen up. If you want to know what colour fly works in what colour water it tells you… there isn’t any secret to the fly patterns he uses either, the recipes are all there! On a personal note when I bought my fly tying kit the store majored on trout flies BUT they had a couple of patches of Icelandic sheep wool (white and red) and I also bought some pink/red/gold flash... I then tied a fly. This coincided with obtaining the book and I was pleased to find Barry extolling the virtues of the Icelandic pattern (p181) and I quote “The Icelandic Pike Fly is easy to tie, More importantly it catches fish on a regular basis.” He’s right as well! On my first day out with the pattern I caught a fish!
I could go on about how Barry goes through the seasons, the pike’s environment or seasonal movements; but I won’t, I’ll leave it up to you to buy the book and unlock the mystery of pike fly fishing yourself.
I’ve watched the trailer to “Water Wolf “ which is a full length movie of Barry in search of the Holy Grail of pike fly fishing… the trailer is terrific… the DVD can only be awesome… now that’s an idea for a birthday present for me. A suitable hint will be dropped!
I'd like to thank Barry for kindly allowing me to reproduce his photo here.