Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Naked Aggression

It was an act of naked aggression - a pike pushing water through seven feet of brush at high speed to assassinate my fly.  I've been fishing over three decades and I've got lots of great memories, but this image will be forever etched in my mind.

I have a new addiction and her name is Esox Lucius.  Visual eats, aggressive takes, explosive fights.  What's not to love?

Since we don't have pike or muskie within 100 miles of Idaho Falls, Shane and I organized a road trip down south to fish with Targhee. 

Targhee is the gent behind the Utah Stillwaters blog and he has the area pretty dialed when it comes to toothy critters.  He was kind enough to show us his local haunts and he really knows his stuff.

Mother Nature was as volatile as the pike when we first arrived.  Although the cloud cover was a welcome ally, the heavy winds, rain and lighting were not. The protocol included throwing large "half a chicken" sized flies and smaller perch imitations up into the weeds where the pre-spawn pike search for forage. 

Our timing overall was good and the pike were willing players - with over two dozen fish brought to hand.

The flies of choice were an olive and gold variation of Nick Granato's "Chupacabra" pattern and a small Supreme Hair perch imitation I tied months ago for large trout.  I'd never tied any pike flies prior to planning for this trip and it was great to see the online research pay dividends on the water.

The trip highlight came when Shane chucked one of the perch flies against the weed line and let it sink deep.  I heard a commotion and looked over to see a large bend in his rod.  Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted what appeared to be a monster swimming hastily past the stern. 

It was indeed a monster.  Just a hair shy of the all-tackle state record, to be precise.

She taped out at 41.5" with an 18" girth at 20.6 pounds.  She was an exceptional fish and a beauty to boot.  Congrats to Shane for landing (and releasing) her and to Targhee for guiding us to her lair.

You can get the full scoop on this beast and lots more photos at Shane's Fish Hunter Chronicles blog.

Can't wait for another round.


  1. Love em. None out here either, but pike rock. Hmmm...targhee is fishing in OR in May. He might owe me a pike day! Hah...great fish.

  2. I would love to CB. I've already seen what your waters can produce over there.

  3. There is some tiger muskie about two and half hours away from Idaho Falls. There stocked in a few lakes around the Mackay area. I tried getting my hands on a few last year but was ill-prepared. This year I'll be better prepared and hope I can land a few this spring. Last one I saw when I was fishing was pushing 35 inches.