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looking for pike & musky advice

Joined:
2007/5/10 13:41
From Potter County
Posts: 59
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Does anybody have any advice on small river fly fishing for pike and musky? I've never done it, but I'm about to. I'd really like to get them on top water stuff, but any advice would be appreciated.

I just ordered myself a 9' 8 wt rod, which I'm thinking I can use for steelies as well.

I'm very good at reading trout water, but I have no idea what to look for in pike/musky country.

Thanks in advance.

Posted on: 2009/6/23 7:53


Re: looking for pike & musky advice
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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Eggman,
The good news is that you can do this year round in PA if conditions permit (ie rivers not frozen). Many of the largest river muskies caught in PA are in the coldest months of the year. Up in your neck of the woods, pike are more common in small rivers and creeks (although not as common as they are in NW PA). The West Br Susquehanna would be a good place to try for muskies. Look for muskies in deeper slower water with woody cover. In my experience, the best spots to find river muskies is where a feeder creek enters a larger river. Wear your polarized glasses and hunt for fish. Once you locate one, he will probably lay up in the same spot all summer. Overcast days with an approaching cold front seem to really turn on muskies. Night fishing has its advocates but I never did well night fishing for river muskies.
Probably the best benefit will be the many big smallies you will catch throwing large poppers and streamers for the big esocids. Good luck.

Posted on: 2009/6/23 8:02


Re: looking for pike & musky advice

Joined:
2006/9/10 11:16
From Harrisburg PA
Posts: 621
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Use wire bite guards. Some will give advice to use heavy mono or fluoro, others braid but for me I will not risk using anything but wire! Since hooking up a muskie is not that common I am not willing to risk a fish biting me off to anything less than wire.

Back eddies where a tributary enters a creek, grass flats near deeper water, the downstream side of a island are places where they can hold/cruise for baitfish with little effort. Dawn & dusk (best) have been my times of success. No success on my night trips, but there have only been 2.

I have had very little success on top water. I find an intermediate line with large (6") baitfish patterns have been most successful for me.

Posted on: 2009/6/23 9:30


Re: looking for pike & musky advice

Joined:
2007/5/10 13:41
From Potter County
Posts: 59
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Great, thanks! I can't hardly wait to try it.

When you fish a beat, do you work upstream like you would for trout or can you work downstream as well?

Posted on: 2009/6/24 9:50


Re: looking for pike & musky advice
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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You can fish up or downstream. Like trout, muskies and pike face into the current so if you're approaching from downstream you're less likely to spook 'em as well as likely getting a better hook set.

And scotto is right about wire.

Posted on: 2009/6/24 12:16


Re: looking for pike & musky advice

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6528
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can you use the wire leaders you see in tackle shops used for spinning gear for a fly, or is there something else you use?

Posted on: 2009/6/24 15:53
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Re: looking for pike & musky advice

Joined:
2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 2757
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Quote:

ryguyfi wrote:
can you use the wire leaders you see in tackle shops used for spinning gear for a fly, or is there something else you use?


Typically no because it will fold at the swivels and won't turn the fly over making for very difficult casting. They sell several different kinds for fly fishing including tie-able wire and rigid wire that will work much better with the leader when turning over big flies.

Posted on: 2009/6/24 16:00


Re: looking for pike & musky advice
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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Ryguy,
David is right that store bought wire leaders with the snap on one end and typically a swival on the other don't work well for fly fishing. However, they're not completely worthless and can suffice in a pinch, esp if you have some short ones with a smallish snap (check the beakage tensile strength and ensure they are strong enough - I like 20lb test minimum for muskies). I tie muskie/bluefish/barracuda flies with a short, integral bite tippet built into the fly. It should be about 5-8 inches.

Posted on: 2009/6/24 21:39


Re: looking for pike & musky advice

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13631
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My advice...fish like you're fishing salt. Make sure you leader can handle the teeth and make sure fly is big enough for a pike to notice.

Posted on: 2009/6/24 23:16


Re: looking for pike & musky advice

Joined:
2006/9/10 11:16
From Harrisburg PA
Posts: 621
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For bite guards I find it best to use either a tie-able wire, such as TygerWire or single strand wire that can be tied in using a haywire twist. I mostly use an intermediate line with 3 1/2' of 20# fluoro tied to a small metal o-ring(available from Feather Craft) then I tie 6-8" of wire to the o-ring with a haywire twist then tie on the fly with a haywire twist. As Tom indicated, I use the same set-up for Bluefish.

Posted on: 2009/6/25 11:45


Re: looking for pike & musky advice

Joined:
2006/9/12 0:23
Posts: 324
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i've used the regular solid wire stuff for pike and did just fine however i bought some of the new flex tyger stainless steel stuff that looks great because it does not kink like other wire and you can tie knots with it. i also saw titanium leader material in cabela's and it's supposed to be even better than the tyger wire.

Posted on: 2009/6/25 12:08






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