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 Post subject: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:42 pm • # 1 
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I'm thinking about changing things up a bit next week and spending some time chasing pickerel (instead of wading for spotted bass or hitting the marsh). While I've caught plenty of pike when I lived up north, I've never taken the time to target either species of pickerel here in Louisiana. Does anyone have any recommendations for flies? Should I just downsize the types of patterns I'd target pike with?

I'll likely be heading to a shallow weedy lake ~2.5 hours from home that has a good population of chain pickerel, but may also spend some time trying to track down redfins in some of the ditches and streams closer to home.

Thanks in advance for the recommendations.

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:27 pm • # 2 
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We have chain pickerel up here in NB, too. I use clousers and Lefty's deceivers in red and white, but I also have pretty good luck with deerhair frogs in chartreuse and orange (and lots of rubber legs), too. I've also had luck with big muddlers in colours unknown to nature. Also Dahlberg divers and deerhair poppers, too. Never encountered redfin - they're much smaller, right? Our chains average 18 to 22", with a few in the 24 size. Oh, and yes, those pike flies will definitely work, especially in the 3 to 6" sizes. I guess you already know weedless will be best.


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:10 pm • # 3 
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Thanks wheezeburnt! I'm hoping to find a few in the 18-22" range. I believe most are smaller, but occasionally someone lands a 3 or 4 lbs chain.

I've tied up a few Seaducers in red & white to go with the various colored Clouser's I already had on hand, but will try and add some muddlers and Deceivers to the mix as well. I'm admittedly too limited of a tyer to work with deer hair, but will see what I can come up with for frog imitations.

I have something I refer to as a "Topwater Chimera" that I'm hoping might do the trick as well. It's essentially a floating pike bunny using the style of foam head Bob Clouser utilizes on his "floating minnow" pattern. It's an absolute abomination of a fly, but has landed Speckled Sea Trout and Largemouth Bass so far this spring. Admittedly, it will be more of a challenge to cast on my 3-wt than the other patterns discussed, but I might cheat and bring the 5-wt along just for that.

As for redfins, they are much smaller. I believe the IGFA record is in the 2.5 lbs range, but most state records seem to be 1 lbs or less. The category is actually empty in my state's record list (conventional and fly fishing), so I may submit a small one just for the heck of it if I manage to find any.

Thanks again
Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:22 pm • # 4 
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What are you planning to use for leader?


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:35 am • # 5 
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wheezeburnt wrote:
What are you planning to use for leader?


I'd like to avoid wire, so I'm considering just tying on a short piece of 20 lbs Fluorocarbon as a shock tippet. Would this suffice? Or could I possibly go lighter for the shock tippet?

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:07 pm • # 6 
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THat's what I'd do, too. Forget wire. It seems to take all the joy out of light rod fishing. 20 lb (or even 15) seems to work for me. I've lost the odd fly to bite-offs, but those are the risks.


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:09 pm • # 7 
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I too fish for pike with 20# mono bite tippet. Ignore the people who say you need wire or 200# fluoro. You will get bit off on occasion, sure, but less than you think. Use a loop knot at the fly and it will move just fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:43 am • # 8 
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Since I have the Texas State Fly Fishing Record for pickerel @ 3.20#, 24.25",and several water body records, that makes me an expert (yep, believe that I'm an expert and I'll sell you some heavily wooded property 10 miles off the Grand Isle coast). I've caught them on a Pistol Pete, muddler, chenille worm and a LSU clouser. The only time I actually fished for a pickerel I caught it on a LSU clouser, the rest of them were by accident. They like to hide in heavy vegetation and wait for prey to swim by. They can be quite acrobatic. I was using 15# test mono for a leader.

LSU Tigers, 2019 undefeated National Champions. GEAUX TIGERS!!


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:17 am • # 9 
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A relatively large fly that I've been using on UL this year is this redfish rattle fly from Chris Myers, a fly fishing guide in Florida. I tie it on the exact hook and size he does here. Easy to tie, casts well if tied sparse, and weedless.


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:37 am • # 10 
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lka wrote:
A relatively large fly that I've been using on UL this year is this redfish rattle fly from Chris Myers, a fly fishing guide in Florida. I tie it on the exact hook and size he does here. Easy to tie, casts well if tied sparse, and weedless.


What size beads do you use?


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:11 pm • # 11 
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strummer wrote:
lka wrote:
A relatively large fly that I've been using on UL this year is this redfish rattle fly from Chris Myers, a fly fishing guide in Florida. I tie it on the exact hook and size he does here. Easy to tie, casts well if tied sparse, and weedless.


What size beads do you use?

I use 6/0 or 8/0 Toho glass seed beads. The 6/0 is probably the better size for this rattle, but the smaller 8/0 are more useful for heads on other UL flies.


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:39 pm • # 12 
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Just picked some up. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:26 pm • # 13 
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lka wrote:
A relatively large fly that I've been using on UL this year is this redfish rattle fly from Chris Myers, a fly fishing guide in Florida. I tie it on the exact hook and size he does here. Easy to tie, casts well if tied sparse, and weedless.


Thanks, Ika. That looks like a great pattern. I may have to add that to my saltwater arsenal, but just tied up some mini versions (size 10 streamer hook) for a small stream I'm planning to visit in the morning. I scouted there Monday and found a section just upstream of my start point where it almost turns into a pond due to a downed tree. The water is a little deeper and off-color. I think the added rattle should work great.

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:28 pm • # 14 
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Cliff Hilbert wrote:
Since I have the Texas State Fly Fishing Record for pickerel @ 3.20#, 24.25",and several water body records, that makes me an expert (yep, believe that I'm an expert and I'll sell you some heavily wooded property 10 miles off the Grand Isle coast). I've caught them on a Pistol Pete, muddler, chenille worm and a LSU clouser. The only time I actually fished for a pickerel I caught it on a LSU clouser, the rest of them were by accident. They like to hide in heavy vegetation and wait for prey to swim by. They can be quite acrobatic. I was using 15# test mono for a leader.

LSU Tigers, 2019 undefeated National Champions. GEAUX TIGERS!!


Thanks, Cliff. I appreciate the insights. I've never tied any LSU clousers. I honestly assumed they were more popular with anglers around here than the fish. Good to know otherwise.

And Geaux Tigers!

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:58 pm • # 15 
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Chris_in_Louisiana wrote:
lka wrote:
A relatively large fly that I've been using on UL this year is this redfish rattle fly from Chris Myers, a fly fishing guide in Florida. I tie it on the exact hook and size he does here. Easy to tie, casts well if tied sparse, and weedless.


Thanks, Ika. That looks like a great pattern. I may have to add that to my saltwater arsenal, but just tied up some mini versions (size 10 streamer hook) for a small stream I'm planning to visit in the morning. I scouted there Monday and found a section just upstream of my start point where it almost turns into a pond due to a downed tree. The water is a little deeper and off-color. I think the added rattle should work great.

Chris

No problem, not my pattern but I've had a lot of luck with it recently so I figured I should share. I started off tying bendback flies the way he does in another video (also on the #4 mustad 3407 plated hook) and those are great too -- I caught my biggest fly rod largemouth ever on it this spring. But I like this one better, because you don't have the downsides associated with bending the hook and it adds some nice sound and motion without compromising castability or weedlessness. Brilliant fly design.


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:29 pm • # 16 
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lka wrote:
A relatively large fly that I've been using on UL this year is this redfish rattle fly from Chris Myers, a fly fishing guide in Florida. I tie it on the exact hook and size he does here. Easy to tie, casts well if tied sparse, and weedless.


Decided to try a downsized version for redfin pickerel yesterday morning.

No pickerel, but caught a pair of these little guys:

Image

Fly was half their length.


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:05 am • # 17 
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I hope you were using at least a 9-wt rod with a steel leader when you caught that !! :lol


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 Post subject: Re: Flies for pickerel?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:40 am • # 18 
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Cliff Hilbert wrote:
I hope you were using at least a 9-wt rod with a steel leader when you caught that !! :lol


Nothing short of a 12-wt and piano wire to handle this beast.


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