Woke up – 8am – already things are not going well as I have slept in. I get my shit together and head out – the day is not looking good – pretty wild weather with a smattering of light rain. Still, I have been looking forward to this all week. It does not matter it is only for a few hours I am determined to be there are the right time at the right place and finally manage to land my first pike on the fly.

I forgo my usual place on the canal and decide on an alternative another mile up the road. It has good parking next to a pub and good access. I string up my rod and then have a decision to make regarding the wire trace. I usually use little snap links so that changing flies is a breeze however I have noticed some people keep a wire trace permanently attached to individual flies. This might make storing them difficult (and is the very reason I don’t do it) but I think that little extra weight might affect casting so decide to try it out. I use pretty easy wire to work with that only needs a little crimp to secure it and I am up and running in no time.

I walk along to a little platform for the boats to moor on – this little spot is ideal as it seems to be devoid of wind – everywhere else it seems to be blowing a gale. I cast a few times, getting used to the extra weight – it always takes me a few casts to get into the swing of things. There are lots of bait fish on the surface – I think they might be roach – the whole place reeks of nervous water. Could those Roach be panicking as a hungry Pike is chasing them or in the vicinity.

Suddenly I get a take – like a green torpedo a pike slams into my fly, it misses and sits motionless, I recast but it is gone. Still – a good sign that my ridiculously flashy fly is working. I spend maybe another half an hour working my fly, trying to cover every nook and cranny – a wide fan of casts – you know what I mean!

I see a likely looking spot on the far bank, there are leafs on the water and some reeds – it looks like a likely place for a Pike – I cast……

Bang! First cast, after just a few jerky retrieves – it is small – laughable to people who catch pike regularly I suppose but still – my first Pike on the fly.

The fly is a mess….

But after a few more casts it is swimming and looking just fine.  Eventually the wind gets up and I head home.


  1. Wyatt · November 10, 2007

    Strong work! Ccongrats on your first “hammer handle” pike.

  2. Alistair · November 10, 2007

    It was a long time in coming 🙂

  3. scott · November 10, 2007

    good on ye! makes me that little bit more gutted that i didnt get out this morning, typical i spose haha

  4. Alistair · November 10, 2007

    Scott, I am no expert but today looks like a better day than Saturday – I am stuck writing an essay all day though 🙁


  5. scott · November 10, 2007

    today was a no go aswell, had work unfortunately. A useful alternative to the snap swivels on your traces is little fly connectors, they serve the same purpose as the swivels but theyre tiny and a lot lighter, its roughly two quid for a pack of 25 and theyre just as easy to crimp onto the trace, i think theyre made by mustad. looks like tuesday is going to be my next trip down the canal, got a few likely looking spots i cant wait to try!

  6. alan atkins · November 10, 2007

    Nice one Alistair, your determination has paid off. I didn’t get out at all this weekend, the car had to go into the garage after some prat ploughed into the back of me. With the weather looking a wee bit more settled i hope to get in about the grayling next weekend. But, the proper grayling fishing on the special river will start next month, in ernest

  7. Pete · November 10, 2007

    Awesome. Great to see the photos of the pike and the collateral damage done to the fly.

  8. Alistair · November 10, 2007

    Thanks chaps – I am really getting into this whole Pike malarky – I may actually lay off the grayling for a while to concentrate on them – it is just something totally different that I like.

    I will look into those snap swivels – i wonder if it is the same things that I already have !

  9. scott · November 10, 2007

    possibly, theyre basically small rings with an eye at the top and a tiny gap to slide the eye of the fly through which snaps shut. Had my first fish for ages today, nudging 10lbs i reckon, it fell to a roach deadbait but i can only imagine what it would have felt like on my fly rod!

  10. Alistair · November 10, 2007

    Well done Scott – that is fantastic news – did you manage to get a photo ?

  11. scott · November 10, 2007

    thanks mate! was pretty chuffed with it, looks like a personal best, i did manage to get a photo and ive stared at it all night haha, gonna give a local pond a go tomorrow morning with my fly rod, hopefully my luck has changed

  12. Alistair · November 10, 2007

    Would like to see a copy of it – possible to send it over the net ?

  13. scott · November 10, 2007

    aye sure, what address will i send it to?

  14. Alistair · November 10, 2007

    Sent you a mail Scott !

  15. scott · November 10, 2007

    send it again to XXXX, the other one is temperamental and rarely recieves anything sent to it. Wish i had managed to get out today, its stunning!

  16. scott · November 10, 2007


  17. Alistair · November 10, 2007

    Edited out your mail so you dont get a gajillion spam emails 🙂

    Will check out photo when I get home !

    Today does look stunning – I hope this good weather keeps up for the weekend – I am half planning on a few hours on saturday morning- all depends on how much work I get done between now and then though !


    Fingers crossed !

  18. scott · November 10, 2007

    I am desperate to get back out with my fly rod, i reckon the loch i caught that fish from would be ideal, the fish was taken at fairly close range and the majority of the bank makes for easy casting, looks like tomorrow or a super early start/finish on saturday or im gonna have to wait till tuesday, which i dont think i can do! oh aye, cheers for editing out my address, theres actually nothing worse than spam!

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