Productive few hours..

So I spent ages last night making a fly – it was made entirely out of calf tail and looked great. I used some lead to help it to sink – I was looking forward to giving it a bash today – as it was the damn thing floated rendering it useless – you live and learn I suppose.

Yet again as soon as I left the house I nearly turned back – it was miserable – I left in rush hour as well (I have a day off work) and my bed was calling me back. Dark and bleak and pissing with rain. I thought the rain would be against me…

However I got to the canal at around 0830, strung up my rod and after changing my fly was almost immediately into a Pike – a nice one as well (I am getting a bit blasé about them now). I had taken the advice of some of my blog readers and was using a fly with a zonker strip as a tail, a black body with just a little bit of flash – oh and some white calf tail along the top wing style – it gave the fly a rather nice action as it kicked back in the water.

Number two Pike came a half hour later – within a few yards of the first – this was a bigger one and put up a fair scrap on the 9 weight. I could see the wire trace it had somehow managed to get it trapped around its gill – I had a choice – I have read how to chin pike out the water and I could have tried it with the Pike last week however as there was people watching me  I decided not to in case I fluffed it. This time however I took a bit of time, unwrapped the trace from around its gill and found the spot where I was suppose to lift it – easy peasy.. a piece of cake – a quick photo

And then back in the water.

The rain came on pretty heavy however I played cat and mouse with another reasonably sized pike for a few minutes. It attacked the fly maybe 3 or 4 times, every time it missed I immediately put the fly back in the water and it attacked again. Eventually I think it spooked and went off to sulk. I fished on at the same spot for around another 10mins getting wet and then headed off home at around 11am.


  1. Paul · November 28, 2007

    Nice one Alistair,those are nice fish,well done.
    Had a few hours on sunday, got one jack of a few pounds and lost another.

  2. Alistair · November 28, 2007

    Nice one Paul – I was suprised today as it was so miserable – where abouts roughly did you try – was it up Maryhill area ?

  3. Paul · November 28, 2007

    The pike obviously didnt mind the weather!
    I drove to a quieter bit out near Kilsyth.Hope to fish some bits around Anniesland this weekend.
    Were you fishing locally today?

  4. Andy · November 28, 2007

    Hey Alistair, been reading your blog for a while now. I’m just getting back into fly-fishing, and I live in Glasgow. I’ve been out fishing a couple of times for Pike in the last few weeks, is there anywhere you could recommend on the canal? I have a car so could get around. Oh, and thanks for the blog, I make a point of checking it at least twice a week! Cheers

  5. Alistair · November 28, 2007

    Hey Paul – I always thought heavy rain messed up with the Pikes ability to track food/prey, I suppose it would be different if using a deadbait that was using lots of juices and smells though – have you noticed a change in the Pikes eating habits in the rain?

    Andy – Thanks for leaving a comment I really appreciate it – are you spinning or using the fly for the Pike?
    To be honest I have had success pretty much all over the canal over the years when using plugs and it is only in the last month or so I have started going after them with the fly. I have found that nearer the city (Westerton, Anniesland, Maryhill) the canal is still pretty choked with weeds and further out it is a lot clearer. So I suppose what I am saying is it depends on how you are fishing and how long you have got – If I only have an hour or so I have been heading down to my local stretch at Anniesland and concentrating on some non weedy sections (maybe 50 yards) and if I have a little more time I have been heading out of the city.

    No matter where you go you will meet joggers, dog walkers, plain old walkers and other anglers. In the city you may meet more strange characters !

    Hope this helps – please let us all know how you get on – if you have a camera send me a photo 🙂

  6. alan atkins · November 28, 2007

    Great stuff Alistair, you really seem to have cracked their code. I had my last day’s salmon fishing on Monday and had a coloured fish of around 7lbs, on the flee. Hopefully i will be able to join you for the pike soon

  7. Andy · November 28, 2007

    Thanks Alistair.

    Yes I’m fishing on the fly, I tried out at bishopbriggs last friday but it was totally freezing and I’ve heard pike don’t bite for a couple of days after a sudden drop in temperature? I’ll maybe head out there again though cause it looked like it might be pikey. I live pretty near anniesland too so might also try out that stretch. I’ll be sure to send you a photee if I hook one of em!

  8. Alex · November 28, 2007

    I’m jealous! Well done. Those pike look in good nick too. You’ll have to show me how it’s done when I return – it seems like you have cracked the secret of the pike – whatever that is!

    keep up the good work!


  9. Paul · November 28, 2007

    Hi Alistair,
    I cant say i’ve noticed rain affecting my pike fishing.The only time id say it is adverse is when its so wet and windy that mud and silt is stirred up colouring the water.I think the resulting poor visibility definitely affects fly fishing for pike.

  10. Alistair · November 28, 2007

    Alex – maybe just a lucky streak – I have taken to phoning Mike at Tamanawis and he tells me he has enjoyed hearing about my learning curve – boy I have some horrors to show you when you get back from Boston !

    Paul- Hmm interesting – Last wednesday the water was pretty murky when I caught those pike…I wonder if it was the movement that got them interested?

    Andy – from what I gather Pike like consistant weather – so maybe after 3 days of cold weather they should have started to feed again properly – what I should realluy get is a barometer to track the pressure changes… fact I think I will put one on the old xmas list !


  11. scott · November 28, 2007

    well done alistair, nice to see someone is enjoying success, my deadbaiting has been fruitless so i reckon im gonna leave those rods alone for a while and concentrate on my fly rod, its a far more enjoyable way to fish and apparently more successful! I reckon a fly fishing trip should be organised soon on the canal, any takers?

  12. Alistair · November 28, 2007

    Scott – I dont have the car tommorow (Sat 30th November) and will be finishing around 2pm however I will be down at the Anniesland – Maryhill Locks stretch from around 10am. If you fancy meeting up for a chat that would be cool.


  13. scott · November 28, 2007

    i’d like to but its impossible for me to get there really, my local stretch is the area around kilsyth, i need to get driving! however, if you fancy it we could arrange some fishing next sundaywhich would be the 9th i think

  14. Jim · November 28, 2007

    Nice one Alistair, you fared better than us.
    I tried out the canal for an hour on Friday afternoon in the pissing rain with my friend Robert (you met him at Crawford), he managed 1 jack and I skunked. The water was pretty dirty, we were using bright orange and bright yellow zonkers and still not seeing the fly until it was about a foot from the surface. We’ll try again soon no doubt.
    Thanks for the location tip.

  15. Alistair · November 28, 2007

    Hi Jim, yea I went out again on Saturday and had nowt – I reckon it was because the water was so dirty after all the rain – I heard someone else went out today though and had a bonanza !


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