First Pike on a Fly

For the past five days we were up at the cabin in central MN with Grandpa. The fishing this weekend was epic, the best I’ve had in a long time. All of us caught some big fish, and had non stop action with smaller bass and big bluegills.

We rolled into the cabin Wednesday night with Grandpa. It was good to be back up for the first time of the year. The lake holds a lot of memories. This is where I learned how to fish as a little kid, spending countless hours drowning worms for the plentiful bluegills off the dock. The lake is pretty green, especially during the summer. A lot of the bass in this lake are small, but you will occasionally find a big one. A 18″ incher would be absolutely huge. There are also good numbers of pike and a few walleye. The panfish in the lake are the highlight. Its filled with slab bluegills and crappies in the weedy shallows.

I was up and on the water just after sunrise on Thursday morning. The lake was perfectly calm and the sunrise reflected in the morning mist. Bass were crashing the surface all around the mouth of the river where it drains into the lake that the cabin is situated on. I threw a popper for about an hour and only got one half-hearted swipe. Then I noticed a bass chasing a minnow, so I switched to a brown bunny leech. That was the ticket, and I started catching some fish. They were small, as most of them are in this lake, but I did manage a decent 12″ largemouth.

A nice perch that Braden caught

After breakfast, Braden and Noah joined me out on the dock. The perch were really biting, and catching a bunch on small minnow patterns was easy. Braden and Noah caught a few nice ones, along with a bunch of smaller fish. Oddly, no bluegills were hanging around the shallow weeds. Usually there are a bunch this time of year, but we didn’t catch one. Although they aren’t quite as good as bluegills, perch are still pretty fun to catch. The bass fishing remained good into the afternoon. I took the canoe out and anchored off some docks, casting into the shallow water alongside. Docks always seem to hold some fish, and paddling along the shore casting to them is usually productive.


  Today was no different. I fished a brown Meat Whistle, a brilliant pattern from John Barr that is like a spin fishers pig and jig. I was slowly working the fly off the end of a dock when the line stopped. I set the hook into a good fish. He shot off toward deeper water. Right away I knew it wasn’t a bass by the way he was fighting. The fish made two fast, powerful runs before I slowly brought him toward the boat. He did the classic pike dive and tried to go under the canoe, but I got him in the net. Luckily, I hooked him right on the edge of the mouth, otherwise he would have shredded the 15lb. mono I was fishing. My first water wolf on the fly taped out at 23″, not bad for the first one. I caught a few more bass on the meat whistle, including a nice fat 12″.


I ended the day fishing for bluegills with poppers. Its fun to go after these beasts after casting 8 weights and big lead eyed flies for bass all day. Got a few nice slabs in an hour.


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    1. Thanks Jason. No, I didn’t use a metal leader. I was actually fishing for bass when I caught him. Fortunately, I hooked him right on the lip, so he didn’t shred my leader.
      Tight Lines,

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