Pike fishing on the fly

Cruising north on the newly finished dual carriageway above Glasgow, my companion Alex and I followed the same route as that of thousands anglers every year. Most of these anglers making the renowned pilgrimage to rivers like the Tay or Dee in pursuit of the beloved and mystical salmon, our journey however, concerned the small and unassuming Loch Freuchie on the Glen Quaich estate, just outside Creiff. Our target was Pike, a fish which until recently was not associated with fly fishing, but which actually prove to be wonderful sport on fly tackle.  Alex and I had therefore arranged to visit Daniel, our gamekeeper friend on the estate, to see if we could encounter a few of these impressive predators. I had taken the new Guideline Epik Pike outfit and an assortment of John Norris Pike Flies on test, and hoped to hook into a few fish!   Our first drift was exciting, the WF9 line loading the Epik rod extremely well allowing me to consistently drop the fly in amongst the fishy looking reed beds.  It wasn’t long until the first pike attacked my fly, doing so in a flurry of water about 2ft from the boat. He gave a spirited account of himself, which was hugely enhanced by the fly outfit - the ‘Softy Minnow’ clasped across his jaws proving his downfall. A succession of similar fish followed, all around the 2-4lb class, and all providing wonderful tail walking fights! The only larger fish, of around 8lb, unfortunately managed to relieve himself of my fly just prior to entering the boat, only providing a fleeting photo opportunity.  Fly style fishing for pike gave us a wonderful afternoons sport, and though the fish weren’t big, this was more than compensated for by the fly gear! The Epik rod allowed even these small Jack pike to show their stuff, and the flies actually out-fished traditional spinning methods.  At £159.99, the Epik pike outfit (including flies and leaders too) is a cracking deal. After giving the rod, reel and line a good amount of stick I’d be extremely confident in recommending it. If you haven’t already tried it, fly fishing for pike is something really worth a look! Phil Ramsden John Norris Country Sports advisor