Tail Walking Time

I decided to have a morning off of thinking about essay stuff and headed out for a couple of hours down the canal for Pike again. As usual, the weather all week has been fine – nice temps, no wind and generally good for the fly, however today the forecast was for rain and gales. This made casting slightly tricky. There was also leaves covering all the easy casting spots – I nearly headed home there and then.

An Audience

I don’t know what it is about having an audience when I catch a fish but it makes me edgy – it is even worse when it is another couple of anglers. I was casting along the side of a floating jetty – pretty much the only place I could get a half decent cast without getting caught up on leaves. I was utilising a rather enticing jerk retrieve with my pink bodied sparkly thing – I think I will come up with a name for it…..er, lets call it a “pink bodied sparkly” I had seen the two guys approach behind me and could hear them talking. Suddenly the rod tip bent over – a Pike had slammed into my fly almost at my feet – it was one of those situations where you just do not feel in control at all – the rod was nearly pulled out my hands. The fish bored deep – the guys behind me had now stopped walking and talking and were watching the proceedings in delight. It was a big Pike, certainly the biggest I have had from the canal, even on the plug. Remember this is only the second Pike I have had on for any great length of time on the fly. In the water it looked pretty big – I had to give it line as there was no stopping it – It then tail walked a yard – Yikes I thought! I could see my fly – it was just in side the mouth and no more.


I think if those guys had not been there I would have took my time and found somewhere to whisk the fish out and lay it down (there is plenty of grass around) however I made the executive decision of grabbing hold of the wire trace, sliding my fingers down and un hooking the Pike in the water- it then turned over – looked at me square in the eyes as if to say “yer a marked man pal” and swam under the platform I was standing on. I chatted to the guys for a bit – they had not seen a Pike caught on the fly before and were pretty impressed – more by the Pike than by me as I was shaking with nerves and covered in blood as I either managed to impale my self with the hook or snitch my finger on the Pikes teeth. I think it was the teeth.

I fished on for a while; however the stickiness of the blood on the rod handle started to annoy me. It was strange – did all that just happen? It all had a very unreal feeling about it. I suppose what I should have done was ask one of those guys to take the photo but hey these things happen I suppose.


  1. nicolas valentin · November 17, 2007

    next time you pop in the glasgow angling center look for me !!so glad you did well !!looks like you fished firhill bassin !..nicolas

  2. Alistair · November 17, 2007

    Hey Nicolas,

    Not at the basin today – a goo dbit away from that in fact – between bishopbrigs and kirki !

    From what I hear the basin is nowhere to be fishing yourself ?

    Have you been out much?


  3. Alex · November 17, 2007

    Well done dude; an epic tale of man against beast.

    Needless to say, you certainly learned that particular lesson the hard way!

    cheers for now


  4. nicolas valentin · November 17, 2007

    Not been fishing lately but got some excellent photo instead posted on flickr !!cannot do everything But will cast a line hopefully very soon !!nicolas

  5. Alistair · November 17, 2007

    Thanks chaps – Alex how are you getting on in Boston ?

    Nicolas – let me know when you are heading down to the canal – may well join you – I am away this weekend though !

  6. garry · November 17, 2007


    Sounds as if your having some great sport on the canal.Wouldnt mind a bash myself where on the canal would you reccomend i live near the bowling area would it be worth bothering with at that end.



  7. Alistair · November 17, 2007

    I reckon all over the canal is good Garry – I do hear good things about Bowling though – all you can do is try!

  8. alan atkins · November 17, 2007

    Well done Alistair, all your determination has paid off with a proper Esox ! The grayling are really going to seem like small fry to you now. Hopefully , this will give you some idea of how a good sized salmon feels and behaves on the trout rod and you will come slamon fishing with me and Alex next year !!!

Comments are closed.