Project Healing Waters was again a great success with a number of veterans landing and releasing large pike in the 40in class on a fly rod. For those who don’t know a lot about fly fishing, you might think a pike of that size would take forever to land on a fly rod…Not so. Fly rods, reels, and the accompanying gear can be selected to suit whatever size of fish you desire, from minnows to mako’s!
Fly fishing for pike is one of the most exciting highlights of the season. Monster pike hide in fully bloomed weed beds waiting for an easy meal. Often these “leg-long” fish will take a small popper fly fished on the surface, and when they do the “takes” are reminiscent of an alligator. Remember to respect the formidable teeth on a gator pike by using a steel bite leader, and a jaw-spreader and long-nose pliers for removing the hook. Like any fish that is being released, don’t touch the gills or keep them out of the water longer than you can hold your own breath.
Fly fishing for walleye is in a league of its own, presenting a formidable challenge for anglers wishing to test their skills. In the early spring surface flies work best. As the weather warms up, walleye can also be duped on streamers fished on a sink-tip line, particularly in current where sufficient oxygen exists during the warm summer months.
Brook trout are perhaps the “pièce de résistance” for the fly angler. Both because of their splendid colors and the spectacular places in which they live. I generally use a heavy sink-tip line and a large colorful streamer when pursuing brook trout in the streams and rivers where they are found. When brookies are rising to hatching insects at dawn and dusk I pull out my dry fly box and cast a size 10 Royal Trude or Stimulator. A big brook trout on a dry is as near to heaven as you can get on this earth. As August progresses brook trout display their brilliant spawning colors with orange bellies and bright spots. Handle these trophies with care and limit their time out of the water as you briefly admire these gorgeous fish. Remember that Northern Ontario is one of the few places on this planet where an 18-inch brook trout is considered small. At Wilderness North, we want to keep it that way for our customers and their families – and some day their kid’s families.