Saskatchewan

Want to drive 1000 miles north, to be caught in potential snow storms, wear buffalo plaid and long johns, and eat fresh walleye and baked beans before stripping flies for 20lb pike? Welp, we know exactly where you should go; 1000 miles north of Montana to Saskatchewan. This is one of the most fun trips we go on, and some of us have been going to some of the same lakes since elementary school so we are very familiar with what you can expect. On the northern Saskatchewan lakes it is tale of 2 distinct goals; walleye and pike.

Looking to target new species and travel the world at the same time? We would like to help you live that story. North 40 Fly Shops offers hosted trips, and access to destination fly fishing to catch some of the coolest species on the planet. Email support@north40.com to get the ball rolling on your next trip.  


If you are okay bringing some conventional tackle then bring your walleye fishing equipment as it is world class, and a great shore lunch before and or after fly casting for pike. While there are places in the world to catch 50 inch pike, and there are a few around in northern Saskatchewan, it is more realistic to catch a lot of 2-10lb pike, and if you are fishing hard then it is common to get 1-2 in the 12-25lb class a day. Our experience so far is in lakes that can be driven to and not fly in lodges.
Guides are available on many of the lakes in Saskatchewan, and certain lakes are a maze of islands. You may consider a guide more for direction than for any other reason. However, once you understand the lake we think it is pretty effective to simply trailer or rent a boat for your trip and take it from there. If you are targeting large pike make sure your boat has an electric trolling motor on board. Without one you will still catch a lot of small pike but may ruin your chances at landing a portrait for your wall.
Rods: 8wt rods are the best.

Line: We recommend bringing a floating line to fish poppers and top water divers in the cattails and shallow weedy areas. However, we often use a sink tip line for most patterns. A lot of the shelves, and rocky banks have quick and deep cut offs, and the fly needs to get down quickly. .

Reels: To be really honest, the reel doesn’t have to be overly fancy for pike. Pike aren’t known for long blazing runs. The takes are aggressive and they can be strong but a reel with decent drag system will do fine. If you have to make a choice, spend more on the rod and line than on the reel for pike.

Leaders: There are a few options here. Most common is to take 20 lb test line for about 5-6 feet followed by wire bite tippet. However, check out Fred’s example of another amazing option here.

Flies: You have the opportunity to be creative here. Pike aren’t overly choosy. One of our favorites is a simple red/white bunny strip leech. However, a selection of top water poppers, gurglers, sliders, frogs are all good, as well as a big selection of baitfish patterns in colors like firetiger, chartreuse, red/white, etc.
Saskatchewan