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Northern Apex Predator - Adapt and Overcome

Heavy 38-inch Northern Pike


Conditions were difficult when we headed out for the first evening of fishing. The weather had warmed early disrupting fish movements, heavy rains caused the rivers and creeks to run muddy and the winds were forecast to build in strength.

The results were not promising; the group caught very few fish this first evening, which had never happened before. As a result, the decision was made to spread out in the morning to find the fish.

I opted to go to a location that had not produced any fish last year but was good in previous years. No one else thought this was a great strategy so there were no other boats when we pulled up.

The idea was to stay put for a while, because the bite at this location can start late in the morning and our boat was in a perfect position next to the creek.

As the sun warmed the water the Pike moved closer to shore and the fishing took off. You could see them flash in the water and aggressively take your fly. Before it was all over, I brought twenty-seven Pike to the boat the largest of which was 34 inches. This ended up being the best day of the trip.

Heavy 34-inch Northern Pike

Heavy 34-inch Northern Pike

This was also the last day of mild weather. The next morning, the group was greeted with whitecaps on the lake that did not let up for the rest of the week.

We tried to fish the same spot the next day, but the anchor would not hold in the wind, so our strategy shifted to finding protected water that was not churned up by the waves.


37.5-inch Northern Pike

One boat had success trolling sheltered shorelines until they caught a Pike: then anchoring and casting flies. This 37.5-inch Pike was caught with a Bear River tackle fly in this way.

Believing the fish were still in my original location if we could beat the wind, we went back late in the afternoon after things calmed down. Up to this point during the day I had only caught two fish, so this was a long shot.

There was no action where we anchored previously so we moved out into deeper water.

On the next cast I got a strike but did not connect. Then another strike but the Pike swam toward me and spit the fly. Then a large pike plowed through the water but missed the fly. On the next cast a giant pike flashed in the water and aggressively took the fly. From the strength of the run this was clearly a significant fish which turned out to be 38 inches in length with a heavy body; my best fish of the trip.

Heavy 38-inch Northern Pike

The next day we fought whitecaps the full length of the lake to reach a sheltered shoreline which no one had fished.

The first two stops drew a blank, but we kept moving and eventually discovered a protected cove with structure in the water. On his first cast my partner caught a 38-inch Pike that rocketed up from the depths and we continued to catch more fish all along this new shoreline.

By the end of the week, I brought more than sixty Northern Pike to the boat, the largest of which was 38 inches, and two that were 34 inches. There were also more that fifty additional fish in the 28-to-33-inch class.

We had a great trip despite exceptionally long odds because we adapted and overcame the obstacles in our way. This is also called “breaking the code” which I have written about on previous trips.

The Northern Pike flies I used on this trip are eight inches in length, tied in the United States with premium materials and available in the Shop Tab under the “Your Design Mid-Level” option. 

There is a significant lead time to tie these custom flies so order now.

Bear River Tackle is dedicated to helping everyone (novice or advanced), have an outstanding fly-fishing experience.

We do this by providing knowledge, fly fishing tips and exceptional flies!


Glenn Personey

Founder and CEO

Bear River Tackle

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