Trip 1 – Pike Madness Takes Hold

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...

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 ..

A classy pose

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..

Dead Pike

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~

12 comments to Trip 1 – Pike Madness Takes Hold

  • Hey! That looks like fun. What Loch were you fishing or is that a secret? if so I will understand. I have never intentionally fished for pike although I have caught a few Jacks at Hillend in the past while fishing for trout.

  • buster

    Thats it im going Pike fishing this weekend! Great Post Alister

  • Hahaha I love the flies for burnt out cars comment! :) Caught one pike before on Lake of Menteith, the idea of pike fishing appeals to me but when you see their teeth it makes you seriously reconsider!

    Out of interest, do they quite readily hit the flies? Do you get regular sport or is it quite finnicky at times like any other fishing?

  • I never name spots on the blog Allan – I don’t want to be responsible for anywhere’s demise.

    Buster – show me the pics :-)

    Scott – They love flies – saying that sometimes they can be hard going – you can go somewhere that you just know holds lots of Pike and not see a thing all day – or see lots of fish as they are streaking away from you in a panic!

  • Your welcome Alistair and thanks for the links mate.

  • nicolas valentin

    nice one !!once the poles find this place i am sure some of them will have a good much..catch those now before there is none left..sad but so true this age…..

  • Which is why any spot should never be named on the internet Nicolas – information about fishing locations should never be gained by a click of a button.

    I reckon any bad anglers at that place would be pulled up pretty quickly – there are some serious Pike boys in that area!

  • nicolas valentin

    have a look at this photo alistair
    nicolas

  • nicolas valentin

    check my flickr and see willie and jim ..same place !

  • Fantastic Nicolas – did you see the pics that the boys posted in the forum?

    I heard you capsized? – now THAT would be a photo :-)

  • [...] note from my diary the first time I wet a line last year was a Pike Trip – it was actually pretty good with lots of Jacks [...]