Esnagami Lodge is starting up a weekly series on fishing tips. Just send us your questions for either tackle or fly fishing, and we will answer one each week.
1. The first is from Bob U... "I have a question regarding your choice of leader while fly fishing for pike/musky. Can you explain what you run and how you attach it? I have experimented with several options but you seem to have it dialed in. I will typically always use a 9ft 8wt, unless it windy or I'm throwing an exceptionally large fly then I will go up to a 9wt".
Terminal tackle set-up on fly fishing for big pike
The key to this is NOT to have too long of a leader. As pike/musky are not typically "lure shy" lugging out a leader 8 to 10 feet in length is just a waste of energy.
Attach a 4 ft length of 30+ lb fluorocarbon leader to the end of your fly line (usually loop to loop). On the end of that leader I usually just tie on a good quality 6" + steel leader with low profile snap swivel. You can also use knottable wire leader (ex. Powerflex Wire Bite Tippet) and tie the fly directly to that, but then you have to re-tie each time you switch flies. If you don't have a built in sink tip on your fly line, then looping on a 4ft length sink tip would also work.
All in all you want to minimize the length of leader/sink tip that has to be casted..As well the "faster" the action of the fly rod, the better to cast larger flies.