I am not a great pike fisherman. Pike are just not a species that I have historically spent a lot of time pursuing. But runoff was in full swing and my favorite rivers were at least a week out from any kind of fishing shape, and there were rumors of big pike shallow. So I called up my buddy Colin, we hooked up the raft and headed out to the reservoir. Admittedly a whitewater raft is not the ideal fly fishing platform in a large reservoir, but when that is the only boat that you have you go with it. We got a few looks at the boat ramp as we dropped the raft off of the trailer with the bass boats and large pontoons, but the cooler was full so we were undeterred.
I had convinced Colin to come on one previous pike mission with me. We did not catch anything and ended up pretty frustrated and beat down. So as we rowed hard for the other side of the reservoir we were mainly focused on the drinking. The day was hot and the beer was cold. You know how that goes. We took turns at the oars, working around some little bays and coves with no luck. I rowed us all of the way into a long finger bay with some good looking flooded grass and suddenly Colin came tight on something heavy. My excitement rose to near panic when I saw a real nice pike roll on the surface with his streamer in the corner of her mouth. She was thick. I grabbed my GoPro, like a hero, to try and get some footage of Colin fighting the beast. But the beer haze kicked up and instead of turning it on, I dropped it in the lake. I had almost lost this camera many times previous and was not about to let it go. So dove head first off of the raft after it. The water was freezing, but fortunately not super deep and I was able to recover the camera. Meanwhile, Colin was still fighting the pike and it was a battle. He tossed me the net and I was able to get her in there. Unfortunately, the trout boat net was not nearly deep enough to accommodate the pike and with one flip she was back in the drink. But with a little wrangling I was able to get a hand around her tail and hand her over to Colin. I snapped a couple of pictures and we let her go. It turns out that the from-the-water camera angle makes for a great picture.
We caught many more smaller pike that day, finished off the beer in the cooler and generally lived the evening to the fullest. I will be spending more time chasing pike this spring, and needless to say, Colin is hooked too…
By Garrison Doctor
Rep Your Water
Having grown up fishing in CO, Garrison and his wife, Corinne introduced the Rep Your Water brand “to represent their love for fishing…” Check out their designs – some really cool stuff. There’s something for everyone. Oh and to top it off, they give a percentage of their profits to multiple conservation efforts. Our kind of company.