Contrary to popular belief, Spain is not as great of destination for pike as other countries such as Holland, Ireland, etc. The lakes have a lot of fishing pressure and many of them aren’t worth fly fishing for the better part of the year. Even so, only with perseverance and hard work, you can hook into and photograph some fantastic fish.
During the winter months, as the trees start to lose their leaves, the days become shorter and the mornings colder, the baitfish begin to hide. During this time, there is a shortage of food for the predators and the long-awaited moment arrives. It is hunting season for the large aggressive pike that call Spain home.
Here are my Top 5 Tips for Chasing Spanish Pike:
1. Use heavy gear.
Although in many occasions you can dominate a great pike with a 7wt-8wt rod, but if you fish in areas with algae, deadfall and submerged structure a heavier rod between 9wt and 11wt will help you to dominate the situation, and make easier to cast large and heavy flies.
2. Try different line combinations.
I find that carrying a few different line options with me, helps to get the fly in the strike zone which in turn will help you to save time on your hunt for these toothy beasts. I usually carry an intermediate line and a class 3 sink tip with me at all times when I’m hunting these fish.
3. Keep an eye on your leader.
The worst thing that can happen to you is losing a big fish because of a bad knot or a leader in bad condition. Check it constantly.
4. Use barbless hooks.
A barbless hook penetrates more easily in the mouth of the fish. Barbless also help in removing the flies from a pike’s jaws and also eases the stress on this incredible hunter.
5. Never ever lose faith.
Although there are days when the pike seem to disappear from the face of the earth and you are lobbing cast after cast at seemingly nothing. You can never give up, because, at the most unexpected moment, a pike will appear, turning your boring day into something that you will never forget.
David Royo is an avid angler out of Spain. Mainly targeting the large Wells Catfish, Pike and Largemouth Bass found in his home country.
Be sure to check him out on Instagram @davidpikefly!
All photos courtesy of David Royo