Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Fly Fishing for Pike

I was on my day off yesterday and had arranged with my mate Wayne Thomas to hit Chew and the Pike, after seeing specimens like this and this recently, I had to get in on the action. Sadly Henry Gilbey was not with us due to "politics". I hate the word and it should have no place in fishing. In my book if you want to catch Trout on indicators, use them! If you don't ... don't! Blobs, Boobies, Weight Forward Lines even "who came up with nymph fishing for the very first time?", it's all been debated. And then we have those who at the mere thought of casting a fly at anything but a Salmon break into a long ramble about "tradition and all that". Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course but not when it's to the detriment of progress. So ... quite why we were "silenced" when we attempted to capture a days Fly Fishing for Pike on camera I will never know, but we were and so that left it up to Wayne and I to do battle. Fortunately we took digital cameras!

I am pleased to report that battle we did using the ever consistent Big Black Pike Fly which I hope to have online soon. This marabou and crystal hair concoction catches toothy critters on every venue I have fished and Chew is no exception. However, a few hours in all the action my Pike Fly had seen was a couple of very small jacks. In fact Wayne's fish seen here could have swallowed them without even noticing. So I had some catching up to do after photographing this beautiful specimen.

I wonder if the fish I "lost" was bigger. Using a product that has never failed me, American Fishing wire in 20lb test, I was dumbfounded when a hit resulted in the trace arriving back, bitten in half and minus my fly! Scaling up to 30lb Tyger wire I then spent a less than confident hour pulling back and watching this silver trace product glinting at me from beneath the clear water. Off that came and on went a bit of braid which I treated with leader sink to reduce glare. It caught a couple of jacks, but still I was not so sure. Wayne was still catching using a much darker trace. Pike are far more clued up than many would give them credit for.

In these circumstances I like to start from scratch so I went back to the American Fishing wire but swapped my Black Fly for a Big White Bunny Bug. A fly that Henry used in his series Fishing on the Edge to take a near 20lb specimen. Constructed from Bunny fur, the pattern absorbs some water and takes a bit of casting; especially on a Tarpon Intermediate with a warm water coating! I had bust my 10 weight intermediate on a previous outing and a new one had arrived at the shop while I was fishing, never mind, next time! Anyway soon I was into the rhythm and feeling confident, another jack had fallen foul of the rig in double quick time. A few casts later it all went solid and this time it was my turn to boat one of the crocodiles that this venue has become famous for. Not my biggest Pike on Fly by far but very pleasing non the less. During the day Wayne and I chatted about the prolific nature of this fishery. There were several other boats out on the lake, all of whom took doubles using fly gear; quite amazing fishing.

The rest of the day we chased down Pike all over but no more big ones turned up although several more jacks to 8lb were not to be sniffed at! Finally the Trout gear was put together for the last hour and Wayne got his first ever Chew Rainbows on a Buzzer while I persevered in the hope of a fish to the dry fly which I took finally on the last cast of the day. It was 11.15pm by the time I walked in, tired, but happy. This has been one of the most amazing years so far for getting back out on the rivers and lakes I love so much on my own time in the company of fellow fishing nuts!

Talking of which I will be joined by Bass crazy Henry Gilbey tomorrow who will be heading with me to a moorland river for some all out Trout action. Lets hope that this time the paparazzi are welcome ....

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