Fly fishing on rivers and lakes is often portrayed as a communal zen moment in nature. Seek out the Northern Pike, however, and you are in for anything but a peaceful time.
The Mean and Nasty Northern Pike
The Pike is undisputedly a creation of some demon figure. It is big, fast, and mean. It is the rare person that would describe the pike as anything but ugly. We are talking hit with the ugly stick more than a few times ugly! Just to top matters off, this demon spawn has teeth that would make a crocodile hesitate. We are talking about the biggest, baddest fish around.
The Northern Pike is carnivorous as suggested by the bear trap that acts as a mouth. Essentially, we are talking about the equivalent of sharks from the open oceans although they are often jokingly referred to as a water wolf. Pikes will eat anything from bait to game fish to frogs to…well, you get the idea. If it can get to it, consider it bait. Yes, the pike will eat other pikes.
The Northern Pike can grow very large. It is difficult to sort rumor from fact, but they can run up to three or four feet in length. Rumors of much bigger pikes abound much like the Yeti, but there has been little evidence they actually exists. The largest one every caught was a 34 pound beast in Nejanilini Lake in Canada. 42 pounders have been reported, but not documented.
As with any predator, the Northern Pike is all about stalking. It tends to hunt food by waiting in along shores in areas with coverage such as lilly, weeds, or where shoreline vegetation runs out into the water. This is a daytime hunter. It strikes quickly and viciously, so be prepared to react quickly if you hook one.
The Northern Pike is generally not much of a delicacy given a very boney body. That being said, large pikes are a regular food source in areas such as Siberia. In fact, a little known fact is pike fishing in Siberia is some of the best in the world. Of course, Siberia holds many secrets when it comes to fishing, one of the last great unexplored fishing paradises on the planet.
Rick Chapo is with NomadJournals.com – makers of fly fishing journals. Visit us to read more articles about fly fishing.