It was cold and the wind was blowing – usually I would just score some brownie points and sit it out knowing that in a few weeks things are going to look a lot better weather wise for trout fishing however there was an itch that had to be scratched and that itch was for Pike.
My fishing companions were Campbell and Ewan – Ewan had never caught a Pike before so it also made the trip a bit more exciting regaling him with stories of enormous teeth and ferocious monsters.
Big fly for a big fish
Of course all the talk seemed a bit pish as after the first hour it looked like we were going to blank – we did not see any fish at all in the margins – so we decided to try some deeper water (3 footish) – we were bothered quite a bit by weed however Campbell found a channel down the middle where all the Pike were lurking so after taking the picture of his catch I started to cast away frantically– he only noticed this sneaky weasel manouvre after I caught a pike – nice one!
A Bend in the Sage - Campbell
The wind was fair blowing causing some pretty meaty waves – I suspect the Pike (which were all Jacks – the biggest maybe just above the 5-6lb mark) were using the waves as cover to pounce on any passing bait-fish – the takes to the flies were on the whole very visual – when a Pike took you could see them crash into the fly on the surface – we eventually worked out that they were all pretty definitely in the one channel – we lined up appropriately…
Lined up - waves at the back..
Pretty soon Campbell and I had a few Pike under our belts however Ewan was still struggling – we could not work out what he was doing differently – he was using an ever so slightly smaller fly ..
Holding the Beast!
The way the Pike were taking the flies was very varied – sometimes the fly would be just in their mouths and on others the fly would be down the throat..
Fly down the throat!
I am reminded of my first few trips out after Pike after raking a long break and being scared that I would scrape my fingers with the teeth – I did do that actually – I remember a couple of guys looking at the blood dripping from my fingers with good humour however these days it takes literally a few seconds to get the fly out..
Holding a Pike
Even chinning Pike now holds no problems – the first time I chinned a Pike I was pretty nervous however after seeing how secure and safe the fish is I now use the technique with confidence.
Sadly we found evidence of guys that had not been so careful with their fish – Pike have a reputation for being hardy souls however they are pansies when it comes to taking any kind of abuse – they go belly up quite quickly..
As you can see the fish was also damaged by a bird – not sure if this was after death or not – at least its nutrients will go back into the system and will feed the insects, the small fish, the bigger bait fish and then will finally feed the big Pike again. I have seen several fish in this area that have been damaged by anglers – Pike fishing seems to attract people who are ill equipped o deal with them.
A Pike in the water - grab it!
Feeling a bend in the rod after the cold months of winter felt great – the jacks put up a fair scrap even on my 9 weight loop. All the Pike we caught were in great condition – they were fat and ready for some hot sex – we commented on how some of them seemed to have small heads not in proportion to their bodies.
Run Run Run...
We wondered why Ewan had still not caught anything – I changed places with him and instantly had a Pike at my fly – we changed his fly – not long after he finally broke his cherry and caught himself a Jack of a few pounds – sadly no photo as it got off at the last moment before pick up however at least contact was made..
At last a fish...
As I was righting this post I received a cracking email from Simon Graham. Simon is quite literally the king of the Pike fishers – he runs three excellent resources for Pike Fly Anglers.
Pike Fly Fishing Articles - Simon’s blog dedicated to Pike fly fishing
Baltic Pike Flies – Simon’s store to buy flies for the monsters
Baltic Pike Tours – Simon’s guided trips
The email was so good as he had tied me up some of his flies and sent some to me – we bloggers do nice things like that for each other – if he ever came over here I would be taking him fishing near some abandoned burnt out cars in the Kelvin.
I must say the flies are going to arrive at just the right time – just in time to whet my appetite or the new season of both trout and Pike.
Bring it on – when baby allows ~grin~