We’ll Gladly Settle for Pike

by | Sep 17, 2022 | fly fishing Lake Superior

Matt-NortonThe forecast has been a little off these three days fishing Lake Superior.  Being surprised is kind of fun most of the time.  But today called for a few light showers and instead it was a deluge of rain affiliated with some serious thunder and lightning.


We left the Washburn boat launch under light rain.  There was sun in the background.  It was calm too.  That’s what threw us off.  We suspected nice enough weather to head out to the Apostle Islands.  We made it as far as the east side of Madeline Island when the shit hit the fan.  We hunkered down for 30 minutes or so but when a couple of larger lake boats retreated for Chequamegon Bay we figured it a wise decision for us to do so as well.


Simms-FishingWe weren’t thinking of calling it a day.  Perhaps if the lightening kept up we would have, but it eased.  The rain however did not.  It came down in buckets all the way until about 4 PM.  It was a wet one but not that big a deal when you have the good gear.  Lucky for me I’m everything Simms!


Lake-SuperiorHowie said, “Once and for all we are gonna catch some coho and browns.  They haven’t been eating for two days.  River mouths here we come!”


Neuman-CurrierOff we went.  The rain was pummeling us at the time.  We stopped the boat and drifted along a gorgeous beach between two river mouths.  We were in about 25 feet of water.  The last few days we have been deeper so it was a new strategy for us.  We could see the tops of weed beds on occasion.  That should have been a hint as to what was about to happen.


rainNeuman was the first to hook up.  I could see high hopes in Howie’s eyes that he’d led us to the salmonids.  But once again, something was funny here.  All the browns and salmon I’ve hooked on Lake Superior take to the air quickly.  This fish was a diver.  Low and behold, out from the dark water came a weaving northern pike.


pikeThere’s an issue here.  Pike have teeth.  Salmonids not so much.  No comparison anyhow.  Because we were so sure of a salmon or brown, none of us had wire bite tippet in the leader.  As Mikes pike roamed around behind the boat we all held our breath.  But once again, 0X Scientific Anglers Fluro continues to impress.  Howie scooped up the pike before its escape.


Mike-NeumanOnly a few moments later I wouldn’t be so lucky with the wireless tippet.  However, my hook up created an image in my mind forever.  Whenever I’m fishing lakes for trout I fish two and in today’s case, three flies.  As my leader reaches my rod I lift my rod tip slow and high.  I observe my flies rising from the deep.  I’m looking for a following fish.  We call this “The Hang”.



Some days I’ll lower my rod down again and back up a couple times and that’s exactly what I was doing.  Keep in mind, following fish hate when flies go up leaving the zone.  It’s a great time to get hit.  And that’s what happened.  A blur of brown color shot from under the boat and grabbed my middle white fly.  This fish took off to the races.  I thought it was a huge brown trout – like 35” or so!


It was a rodeo for several minutes.  Howie took his net stance.  But like Mikes northern, this fish didn’t jump.  I thought it was a brown but was this a bigger pike?


pike-on-flyIndeed, it was.  This was a Canadian size pike and we got a great look at him.  He was over 3ft long.  He twisted on the surface like a serpent and I eased him towards the net.  But he’d have none of it and he took off again.  Unfortunately for me, he bit through my tippet.  Gone.


It was exciting.  We were going to photograph him and release him anyhow.  But man, just a little better look would have been nice.


Howie-flyfishingWe ended up fishing here for about four hours.  There were salmon rolling.  It seemed we would get one eventually but we didn’t.  We did however catch more pike and lost a few too.  Best of all, the rain eased and eventually stopped.  The sun was out for our last fish of the weekend.


Currier-Sparkys-GrillWe didn’t call it a day until about 7:30.  It wasn’t quite as lovely as last night but it wasn’t bad.  We probably would have stayed out longer but just south of Washburn is a bar and restaurant called “Sparky’s Bar and grill”.  Sparky is another college pal so we dropped in for a visit.  Before you knew it I was bartending and the boys were making homemade pizza.


wisconsinLife is good.  I’m afraid today was the end of a hardcore fishing stint the last ten days.  We could fish in the morning tomorrow but instead; we’ll have a casual wake up and departure from Howie’s and Sue’s in the morning.


It was great fishing with the boys like old times.  There will be many more of these long weekends to come.  This ends quite a run.  For now, whoa, I have some work to catch up on!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!