Pike Fishing in Switzerland, pike on a fly
What could be more exciting than catching a big pike on a fly in our clean beautiful lakes of the Bernese Oberland ? Pike fishing in Switzerland is the ultimate challenge for any angler.
After many years of guiding exclusively for trout fishing, I needed a bit more of a challenge….
Not that I was tired of beautiful brown trout on a fly…… but it is certainly enjoyable to cast a heavier rod with larger flies and get rewarded with a fight that rocks when pike fishing in Switzerland.
I was not totally clueless… after having done a lot of pike on a fly fishing up in Sweden (yes Sweden- not Switzerland !) I decided to give it a go on the lakes I live right next to- the Lake of Thun and the Lake of Brienz. I contacted a buddy of mine- an experienced pike fisherman himself who does only trolling for the very large beasts. He took me out and I could tell by the look on his face what he was thinking….: “What a foolish way to fish for pike, fat chance we’ll see any fish today.” Well, it wasn’t long before I was into the first pike and to top it off I landed even a second pike on that very first day. My buddy was speechless- and soon after I had to teach him how to cast those heavy flies……
I decided to do a bit more scouting a few days after- so I rented a little row boat and off I went. The results were still great- in fact I got a real thrill out of it !!! I landed several nice pike from 50cm to 80cm in the first 3 days- and so I was totally hooked to pike fishing in Switzerland !!!
Swiss Pike: (Esox Lucius)
The two lakes I fish are some of the deepest and coldest lakes in Switzerland. Pike fishing in Switzerland is quite popular- but traditionally most people only troll for pike. It allows them to cover a larger area and go deeper, often catching the larger pike than we do with a fly.
Size limit is 50cm for a keeper. Most pike we catch are between 70-100cm. The largest pikes in the lake must be up to 130cm / 15 kg.- but these may be out of reach with a fly…..
From the season 2014 on, I now have a fully fitted fly fishing boat with 2 casting platforms and 90hp engine 😉 The boat saw the water for the first time in mid-March 2014. This obviously now allows us to cover much more water and reach the furthest areas of the lakes.
In 2014 the pike fishing in Switzerland got even better. We were able to top last years record with the largest pike being 108 cm / 11 Kg !!!!
This record was again topped in 2015 with a big mama of 115cm / 16 Kg !
Now please don’t be fooled. Pike fishing in Switzerland is anything but easy. Firstly you need to be a decent caster, having no problems placing your fly at 15+ meters at least. Being able to master the double haul greatly helps with distance. Not being able to cast far enough, results in me having to maneuver the boat too closely to the shore. The pike will then follow the fly up to the boat, see us and goodbye…..
Pike fishing in Switzerland also requires a good portion of patience and endurance. Pike tend to be on the bite in intervals, maybe 2-3 times in a day for an hour or two. So just keep on casting and never give up. Sooner or later you will hook a beast !
With the fly we focus mainly on the overgrown banks of the lake– most places the cliffs drop steeply into the water, as you can see on the pictures- with lots of trees bending their branches right down to water level. The secret is to be able to place your fly as close as possible to those hanging branches- or even better- right underneath them.. The strike will come fast and hard– often you will actually be able to sight-cast to the lurking fish. Very exciting ! The pike we catch hold at a depth between 1ft to max.10ft of water- that is only during the summer months obviously.
Once the water temperature goes below 13° Degrees, usually by October / November the pike fishing in Switzerland ends for us flyfishermen, as the pike will now migrate to deeper water, following the schools of baitfish.
Equipment for pike fishing in Switzerland:
I use different weight rods, depending on the casting ability of my guests and the wind conditions (wt # 8-10). Personally I prefer a weight 10 rod, giving me that extra power for long distances. But any fly rods from weight 8 upwards will work. In the beginning and end of the season, when the pike are not very active due to water temperature, I often use sink tip or intermediate lines, allowing me to go just a bit deeper, down to about 2-3 meters. During the prime time in the summer months the pike will hold very close to surface. Then the right choice for fishing for pike in Switzerland are floating lines. On thunderstormy summer evenings you may catch pike even with surface lures as poppers. I use no steel leaders, as these tend to bend if you get stuck in the trees. I use only Fluorocarbon as bite guard.
If interested, watch this great video on how to tie the best pike leaders. Many thanks to the Hayward Fly Fishing Company in WI/USA.
I have tried some commercial flies, finding that most have long long tails with the hook tied in way up front- creating lots of missed fish as the hook won’t grab. I only use flies tied by my buddy Thomas, who’s a real master at it. You’ll get to see and fish those great flies if you book me only !
Pike fishing in Switzerland – our fishing day
I would recommend staying in the area Interlaken / Wilderswil the night before our trip. I’ll be happy to give you some hotel recommendations if you like. I will pick you up at your accommodation at the given time.
We will usually try to hit the water between 6.00-7.00 , this will depend on the season and the weather forecast. You can bring your own equipment or rent rod & reel from me at a reasonable price. Leaders and Flies are provided by me. Bring a bag with a decent windbreaker or rain jacket & pants, hat, glasses, camera, etc. Dress accordingly please- we’re on a often windy lake with a fast boat- it can get real chilly even in summer !
For pike fishing in Switzerland we need a decent boat….. My boat is 6m long x 2m wide and comfortably allows 2 flyfishermen/women to cast at the same time- if needed. It is equipped with a 90hp outboarder and will allow us to cover lots of water. Note that swiss laws allow no motoring along the shoreline. Therefore I use an electric trolling motor along the shore.
Casting pike flies is definitely strenuous on your body- specially if you are not used to it. We will be taking frequent brakes to talk tactics and admire the scenery…For lunch I’ll have a full picnic, with home made sandwiches, some real swiss cheese and other specialties. A good lunch is also part of a great days pike fishing in Switzerland.
Often the fishing slows down or even shuts off around 16.00. We will fish as long as it makes sense.
Pike fishing in Switzerland – Prices & Details
Half day: 4 hours fishing / CHF 490.- for the boat (max. 4 persons)
Full day: 8-10 hours fishing / CHF 780.- for the boat (max. 4 persons)
- xxx hours on the water
- transportation from/to your hotel/accommodation in the Interlaken area.
- leaders, flies
Not included are:
- Rental fishing rod + reel: CHF 30/day/person (optional)
- Fishing license: CHF 32/day/person (mandatory – will be organized by your guide)
- Picnic, Snacks, drinks
Combine two days fly fishing in Switzerland – Trout wilderness trip & Pike on a fly
15 % discount on consecutive days !
Please contact me via my contact form to reserve a specific date or if you’d like more information. Once you are ready to book I will kindly require a non-refundable deposit payment of CHF 200. You can comfortably settle the deposit payment thru my payments page (credit card or PayPal).
Your deposit payment goes towards your total costs for the day.
The remaining balance will be due in cash on our fishing day. (CHF or EUROs)
For any cancellation from your side, you will loose the non-refundable deposit payment.
For no-shows- the full amount due will be charged to your card.
Obviously, should our trip be cancelled due to weather/water conditions, you will owe me nothing at all.
Do not hesitate contacting me if you have any further questions…..
I am looking forward to stalk some pike on a fly with you ! Come pike fishing in Switzerland !
Tight lines & burning reels !
Your guide for pike fishing in Switzerland