If you’re fishing with floating line, keep in mind you’ll be fishing pretty shallow; usually no more than four or five feet. Here, you’ll likely be fishing weeds, so your flies will need to be weedless, too. The weed edge is where you’ll want to start, and flies such as a bass bug, streamer, or Dahlberg diver are good options. Cast the fly roughly a foot into the weeds and then start your retrieve. Once the fly’s in open water, though, be ready for a strike.
If you’re an accurate fly caster, trying for pockets—openings—in the weeds will yield results, too. Cast a popper to the pocket and give it three or four good pops. Often times, pike will hit the bug after a few pops, but if a specific pocket doesn’t draw a strike, move on to another one.
Flies to use: Dahlberg Diver (yellow/black), TGT Streamer, Weedman’s Slider (white/chartreuse)
Sinking fly line is ideal when you’re seeking pike in weeds and flats that meet drop-offs. Here, the trick of the trade is casting your fly toward the deeper water and retrieving it back to the shallow flat, or weed bed. Most strikes will occur as the fly makes its way up the drop-off. Solid fly options here include streamers like the Black-Nose Dace, Hi-Landers, or the I’s.
One tip I learned from a seasoned fly angler is using a popper fly on sinking line. When you pull the popper under the water, the resulting pressure on its concave lip move’s the bug from side to side. Once you stop the retrieve, the popper will swim toward the surface, mimicking a wounded baitfish, which pike can’t resist.
Flies to use: Streamers (pearl, dace/red, orange, yellow), or a popper