Salty Pike – part 4 Casting Pike Flies

This is the fourth and final of my articles on fly fishing for Salty-Pike, in the first I gave an overview of the gear we use, the second presented a brief insight into tactics, the third was all about the flies I use and this one tries to give you some tips on casting pike flies. Enjoy it.


Casting Pike Flies

You don’t have to cast far to catch Pike but as with most types of fishing it certainly helps – the more water you cover the more fish see your fly. I always begin by making a few short casts immediately in front and to the side of me before gradually lengthening the cast to cover greater range. As mentioned in my second article of this series Pike often lie in very shallow water so take it easy and don’t splash in without fishing the shallow water first


Silja drifting into the Back Cast

Casting large pike flies can be tricky, especially in the wind. Increasing line speed helps, and a good way to do this is to double-haul but this needs time and practice.


Extreme Double Hauling

Try not to fight the wind, use it to your advantage; shoot high in a tail wind  or turn round and “beach cast” (release on back cast) if the wind is blowing into your casting arm.


High Stop with a tail wind

I would advise newcomers to book casting lessons from a certified instructor (of course I would wouldn’t I 😀 ). Casting is not about muscle and strength its all about technique. No matter how hard you try you will not ‘force’ big flies out into the water. A few lessons from a professional will teach you the basic techniques and help you jump the curve. Learn good habits from the outset, it can take years of hard work to re-program “bad” muscle memory!

But before you all rush off and book casting lessons with me 😀 here are a few tips to help you get along:

  • use a short head
  • use a short and thick leader
  • after retrieving the fly, do a roll cast before false casting again
  • choose a heavier line weight
  • when false casting make sure your cast has fully straightened out
  • drift whilst false casting
  • if the wind is blowing from the “wrong side” turn round and beach cast

Just because your casting feels crappy doesn’t mean that it is crap – casting big flies is everything but elegant at the best of times.

See you on the water.


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  • Good piece Silja, thanks for sharing. I find that if you time the momentum of the transistion perfect. The rod will do all the work for you, especially with a heavy pike fly. Like you adviced, I do tend to overline. My favorite ‘go-to’ pike line is a Barrio GT90 I, uplined one number.

    • Stuart 09/01/2014   Reply →

      Hi Sieger, my “goto” Pike line is an AirFlo Sniper 😎 , like other “modern” lines it is heavy and has looooots of mass. Just right for launching those big flies. I must admit I have never tried one of Mike’s lines – I will give one a try this winter.

    • I’ll give the Airflo Sniper a try. Good cold weather line?

    • bff 09/01/2014   Reply →

      Jeroen (I got it right this time 🙂 ) – I have only ever used the Sniper under normal winter conditions I don’t know what it is like when it gets really cold. I might get the opportunity IF it gets cold this winter

  • Hi Stuart, cheers for that, but it is Jeroen, not Sieger 😉

    • Sieger 09/01/2014   Reply →

      Haha What’s in a name…. 🙂

      But a really nice chapter again Silja… Thanks for sharing!



      • silja 09/01/2014   Reply →

        I am sorry about that and…why keep knowledge for yourself. It’s a pleasure:-)

    • bff 09/01/2014   Reply →

      @ Jeroen Ooops sorry about that …
      @ Sieger – it just goes to show I think about you all the time 😉

  • Marc Fauvet 09/01/2014   Reply →

    great, simple and sweet advice, Sil !
    hope to meet up soon, hugs !

    • silja 09/01/2014   Reply →

      Merci my friend:-) A bientot:-D

  • Mads 11/01/2014   Reply →

    The skagit line on a short twohander or switch rod Can do the job as well – and with very little effort!


    • Stuart 11/01/2014   Reply →

      Totally agree with you Mads – I have also done quite a lot of Pike Fishing with a switch rod but that will be the subject of a future article.

      Thanks for your reply, have a great weekend.

  • Jari Koski 12/01/2014   Reply →

    Great article Silja!! I’m a big pike fan. Spend about 70 days on the water last year after pike. The new heavy and short lines make casting monster flies a breeze. My favorite lines are the Airflo Sniper and Vision Big Daddy lines. They both work very well in cold temperatures and make life easy for a pike fisherman. I especially liked the tip about not using power with big flies. If your line has enough mass to turn over big flies, I’ve found that the best way to cast that set up is with a very relaxed stroke. 12h a day a week in a row – no problem if your gear is rigged properly.

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