Fly Fishing For Pike Perch

Fly Fishing For Pike Perch

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 13 July 2016

A lot of fly fishermen have asked me about the fly line and the flies I am using when fly fishing for pike perch (Zander). During the past years I have tried a lot of different lines as well as a lot of different flies. Here comes my favorite set up now!

First of all pike perch most of their time are feeding near the bottom. So I want my fly to move exactly here - down deep. Therefore I add a tungsten bead right behind the hooks eye.

Then I want the hook to be changable. Pike perch love to hunt their bait fish inbetween stones. Thus my hook easily looses sharpness due to fly fishing directly along the rocky ground. I add a small ring making the hook easily changable.

I want my fly to move up and down a lot - "jigging" we call that sort of movement. In order to have such sort of movement tubeflies don't work well - especially not when the fly will be connected to a steel or titanium leader. What I need is a hooks eye and a loop knot (none slip mono loop).

Since it takes a while to tie such a fly I make sure to add glue (or to varnish) every step of tying in order not to have pike perch (or pike) destroying the fly easily.

For the details you may check the step by step tying instruction below.

flies pike perch

The body by the way is wrapped with a bunny stripe. Works well for some action - even when being moved pretty slowly. ;)

My fly line set up may vary from water to water or even spot to spot. But my main fly line set up is a heavy floating part - 6 to 7m in length (20 to 22 grams) combined with a sinking tip (poly leader 2 to 3 meter in all different sink rates). Then I add 1 to 3 meter of nylon - usually 0,30 to 0,35mm. In case of pikes being around I may also add a titanium leader (50cm).
Depending on water depth I choose the sink rate of the poly leader. The key is to have the poly leader and the nylon to go down to the fly in a pretty steep angle. That way I don't touch the fish with the line first and my fly stays longer at the fish when stripping the fly back in.

Best time of the day? Depends on your water! But as an excellent rule of thumb:

Muddy water = proper fishing nearly all day long.
Clear water = just after the darkness comes in.

Pike perch prefer to stay without much sun light. Therefore you mostly find them in the darkest spots of all the water available. This can be the deepest spot or the muddiest spot.

Personally I really love to fly fish for pike perch. I can tell right away why pike perch has become the most wanted fish for spin fishermen by far not only in Germany!

I wish all of you a great week - have to run into some fishing right now!

All my best

Some pictures from the last days...