Autumn is one of the best seasons for pike fishing.
Catching them in rivers is very exciting as well as an extreme fishing experience. Not only do you have to fight against these river wolves, but also against the wild environment.
Fall pike fishing conditions
Fall is a season with a lot of weather changes. During summer, pike are very apathetic due to the hot temperature. However, when temperature drops and there's less sunlight hours, pike are more comfortable, which means more activity. Therefore, late September and October are some of the best times for catching aggressive pike.
Trees and river vegetation begin to lose their leaves in fall, which results in a reduction of shady areas of the shore. These places are where pike love to hide in waiting for prey during summer. Placing your focus on those places where they could be, such as dry trees, underwater weeds, rushes, and cattails will help your hook-up rate.
Algae and waterweeds
There will be less quantity of algae underwater during this time of year, so you'll have the chance to fish more water. At times you'll find "hallways" in the algae and waterweeds. These are hot spots you should fish carefully because it's likely the pike will be hiding there holding or hunting.
Pike's mood during fall
As we discussed earlier, pike get lethargic from both heat excess as well as very low temperatures. The more moderate weather in autumn allows pike to enjoy a nice temperature for developing their biological activities fully. Due to this, they're really fast this time of year — real missiles that will attack streamers without doubting.
Pike are very powerful hunting and fighting in the fall because they are so well fed at this time. On the other hand, a hard change in the water temperature can make that pike stop eating while adapting to the new circumstance in their habitat.
Early in fall, pike will begin to leave the deep pools of the river where they passed the summer to escape the heat. Now you'll find them closer to shallow waters and shores hidden under trees, dry bunches, or weeds waiting for food. They'll try to avoid sunny places, so place your focus on shady spots.
On cloudy days, pike will have more places to be hidden. Pike are notorious for loving cloudy and rainy days; during these conditions you'll be more likely to have a great deal of strikes.
As mentioned before, pike will have full physical and biological capacities during fall. Moving from their shelters to their hunting places will be their usual procedure. In fall there are a lot of small fish around shores and shallow water so pike only have to make short trips for a feast of prey. Their favorite hunting places will be the following ones:
- Areas with depth unevenness
- Slow waters near faster moving waters in the stream
- At the edges of algae and underwater vegetation
Best streamers for fall pike fly fishing
3 things to take into account for streamer selection
During fall, pike hunt for big fish that will give them a great deal of protein and energy. Therefore, it will be essential to use big patterns between 15 and 20 cm long. Fishing with big streamers helps to hone in on catching big pike as well. However, pike are quite like wolverines, so it's not strange to catch small pike nearly the same length as your streamer.
Pike meat with Fish-Skull Living Eyes.
In normal fall conditions, you'll generally find clear water. Using natural colors will be attractive enough to draw the attention of pike. White pearls and tans will be very effective.
However, there will be moments in which the water will become brown due to rain. In these conditions firetiger streamers will be very productive.
As discussed previously, pike will be full of energy and eager to eat during the fall, so it won't be necessary to fish deep areas. Fishing shallow water with articulated streamers with subtle and natural movement will be the best option.
Very fishy tube fly with contrasting Fish-Skull Living Eyes to stand out.
These patterns are popular among Scandinavian anglers. The best part of tube flies is that we don't need to use a lot of hooks for tying streamers. Tube flies work like Texas-style vinyls — the hook is inside the connector. When a pike attacks the streamer, the hook is released from the connector so the streamer comes out of the pike's mouth. This patterns are ideal for fishing slowly with a wiggle tail at the back. Most strikes will be when the fly is stopped between strips of the fly line.
Bluegill minnow finished off with Fish-Skull Living Eyes for added realism.
At the beginning of fall, pike still prefer to feed on the small fish that abound on the surface of the water. At this time, it is quite effective to use imitations of such fish in the areas where pike are likely to be hiding.
Who doesn't love a classic white Game Changer style fly pattern? Fun to tie and incredible to fish with due to the lifelike movement of the Fish-Skull Fish-Spine articulated shank system.
These patterns mix realism with movement and provoke extreme, fast attacks. At times pike will travel a great distance to strike your streamer. Work your streamer with short jerks and long stops or retrieve your streamer continuously.
Surface Seducer Dragon Eyes give this diver a mean look.
Divers will provoke brutal attacks from pike. Their aggression is impressive, especially when they jump with their whole body out of the water to attack your fly.
When fished on a sinking-tip line, this Game Changer style fly with a Surface Seducer Howitzer baitfish popper head and Fish-Skull Living Eyes can trigger some serious reactions from pike, especially with the commotion caused by pulling the popper head under the water's surface. The Fish-Skull Fish-Spine articulated shank system gives it lifelike wounded-baitfish movement.
Diver patterns imitate fish or amphibians trying to escape from another predator. The main characteristics of these flies are the noise they produce on the water and that, being weedless, you can use them between vegetation and semi-submerged branches without fear of losing them. Divers are great for using mainly from the end of September and October.
Tie up some flies and get out there and fish!
This is an exciting time to chase pike on the fly, don't miss out!
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About Jorge Garcia Huertes:
Jorge, owner of www.universalflyfishing.com, has been fly fishing for bass, trout, pike, and carp since he was a child in Spain. His website is dedicated to fly fishing and tying, and he has a YouTube channel with a great deal of tying tutorials and fishing videos. Jorge belongs to the Flymen Fly Tyer program, the Jerkbait Pro Team, and collaborates with Madrid Fly Fishing, which is one of the most important fly fishing stores in Spain. Follow him on Instagram @jorge_g_huertes.