Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Ticking along nicely..

Been out just a few times since my last post, although the fishing has been a bit slower its definitely the best time of year to be out. 
I managed to get out with Neil for a few hours as Ive not fished with him allot recently. I put the fly rod down for this session and we went to target some canal pike, as it turned out the pike were not playing ball but Neil got a result with a cracking 3lb perch.

I enjoyed the change of method but I'm really addicted to fly rodding for pike at the minute so had to get my fix for the week. Again the pike were not as on it as previous sessions, possibly down to the cold nights and warm days confusing them a little or making them feed at certain times. I managed a few fish though which satisfied my craving.

Still really enjoying my tying too, its great to be able to relax at home and do something fishing related, and its much more comfortable sat tying then in a cold damp shed making lures.

I thought I'd have a change again today and went with soft plastics for the perch, there starting to shoal up nicely now and i had quite a few with a couple of 2lbers mixed in.

The highlight was literally the last cast, which produced a clonker of a fish, it was absolutely stuffed and a shame i didn't have any working scales as its been a long time since Ive seen a fish of this size, it was never going to threaten my PB which is into 4's but this fish would certainly have gone into the meaty side of 3lb with the girth of it! It makes my reel look tiny! A bit disappointed with the self take, there not the easiest fish to get a good representation of there scale in photos and even more so with self takes.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Into the backing....

I was looking forward to today as i was going to travel across two counties to visit a venue i went to a year or two ago. I caught quite a few jacks when there and that was with coloured water, id always planned to go back when it was much clearer. I suspected it would be in good nick with this quite dry weather we have had this year and thought it would be a perfect venue for more fly action.

I made my way down to the bottom of a bridge to set up for my first few casts and was surprised to find it totally weed choked, then a voice came from above me asking if I'd caught anything. It was another lure angler, he said he had not done anything at all. I carried on setting up then looked up again and there was now 3 guys on the bridge, a few more minutes and more turned up, i think there was 7 altogether. Not there fault, but I'd travelled miles and spent precious fuel to get here and following on water that had already been fished by 7 others was not good at all. I gave it a go anyway but i was finding myself getting frustrated, the wind that had got up was not in a favourable direction for fly casting, the bank vegetation was high making it awkward with tangles, then there was all the weed to negotiate, along with the fact that i was fishing water already fished. I gave it an hour or so with just an 8oz pikelet to show for it. Sometimes its about making the right decision and this was one of those times it was right to decide to sack it off and go elsewhere. I had options on the way home so came up with one that i thought would give me the best chance of salvaging something for the day.

I went for another spot i had caught on in the past. I feel like I've been on a good run just lately with some nice fish and today was feeling like it was going to be the end. The second spot did not produce either so i was about to walk back with my tail between my legs when i thought i might as well try for a few small perch just to get something out of the day.

I flicked a smaller perch sized fly down the margin and was just going to take a few paces the other way when there was a big splash where i had just chucked the fly. I lifted into a fish and at first it felt very odd, it didn't feel like a sizable fish but it wasn't coming to the surface, i was stripping my line back in wondering what was going on. I then realised the fish was heading towards me and i was actually just catching up with it, when i did i suddenly felt the weight and i reckon the fish realised it was hooked at that point as it took off. When i say 'took off' i really do mean took off! I've never experienced anything like this before, the fish absolutely shot off leaving me wondering what i had hooked. Pike usually surge at great speed and then stop but this was surging at break neck speed continuously even on a tight drag. I kept trying to palm my spool but it was spinning so fast i kept getting whacked by the handle. I couldn't believe the distance this fish had gone then i suddenly felt something as i held the line, i felt the line disappear and become allot thinner through my fingers, looking down i realised i was into my backing. I now started to think it could only be a large stray trout or maybe even a salmon i just could not envisage anything else sprinting off like that.
Then, as i was getting excited at the prospects of seeing it, disaster struck. The fish had took off to my right, i couldn't chase after it to gain line as there was a big overhanging bush blocking my way, i didn't even want to get closer to the bush as it was cutting the angle down from where the fish was. the fish then started heading towards the bank again meaning my line was going to get pulled into this bush. It did exactly that and i had to fight the fish into the bush where it became snagged, i could do nothing other than hope if i let it thrash it would come free. Luckily it did, id have been devastated not seeing what it was if I'd have lost it. Still fighting but i was gaining on it now and eventually got a look at it, and again i was surprised, and twice. Firstly when it did surface, at first i could only make out its size and i was still thinking trout, so if it was it was a bloody trout of a lifetime. I was actually more surprised i think to see it was in fact a pike. I've caught a few bigger pike than this just recently so thought i knew what to expect and had adjusted my drag with each one to as much as i thought i could get away with. Then this fish comes along and blows everything out the water like its on steroids! If this fish was an athlete it would be Usain Bolt!
I try to explain it as it happened but no words will ever cover it like it happened, Ive just never known a pike to travel so fast continuously for that distance even big fish including a twenty Ive had on a 3g ul noodle did nothing to compete with this. The noise my reel made was gorgeous and not sure i'll ever hear that again.

The fish was a minter with not a mark on it, id certainly made up for the day so far anyway.

I changed back to a bigger fly, my tail fly actually and covered more of this area now i thought i had a better chance of pike. I had another couple of fish that also fought well for there size so they must be eating something good.

So it seems my roll continues.... best to enjoy it while you can because when your on one its totally in the laps of the fishing gods and eventually they will look down on you and decide your turn is over...

Saturday, 13 September 2014

BBzzzzzz.... chewed alive, flies and mozzies

Last week was a bit slow as my car was in for an MOT so i didn't get out till Friday for a few hours. I'm still really enjoying Pike fly fishing and tying the flies is equally as fun, its actually very therapeutic tying flies. I've mainly been tying bait fish patterns and trying slightly different ways to tie them to get a better profile. The trouble is if you use too much material, when the fly is in the water the materials puff out and you totally loose your profile. It doesn't really matter that much, pike will still chew it but i like to make things realistic as this is what there used to seeing and eating and it also gives me confidence in what I'm using.

Ive been playing around with blending materials and chucking colours together than don't even go together to slightly alter the shade of the more prominent colour, it gives a really nice effect actually.

You will notice one of the flies has a tail on the end, this is something else Ive been trying to make the profile even more realistic. The tail is attached to a central core of material, i was going to try some fluro but thought if i matched what the rest of the fly was made with it would blend in and also move in the same way. I also thought by using 10-15 strands of material was better than just one in case a fish ripped it off or bit through it. 

The effect is more realistic than i thought and it looks brilliant in the water, i went out yesterday to try the fly out and ended up with a really nice fish on it. It was awful taking the photos though as i was getting swarmed by mosquito's and had to keep wafting them off me so to have to stay still for a photo meant i was getting chewed by the little bleeders!

This morning i had the chance to get out again for a few hours so chose to go visit somewhere id not been to this year due to not having access to get to it, i looked on maps and managed to find a new way to it but this meant allot of walking. I knew this place was like hell on earth for mosquito's and after getting chewed yesterday i went and bought some repellent. It worked great keeping them off my skin even though they were still swarming me which was annoying. You can see them flying for me in the photo below.

I had a great couple of hours with 6 fish banked on the tail fly, the best of the bunch was the fish below which was a nice looking fish as well as a nice size. I seem to be on a bit of a roll at the minute with a decent fish most sessions, you've got to enjoy times like these while you can.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Last thirty minute action

To combat the bored of being at home and not fishing I've been tying flies ready for when i can fish. That's one great aspect of building lures and tying flies, it keeps the interest going when you cannot get out to fish.
I still have a relatively limited range of materials for pike sized flies which i will be expanding on over time, so Ive only been able to dabble with what i have.
The flies below are a few Ive just recently tied and i was keen to get out and give them a try yesterday. I tied the black and flash ones ready for the coloured water we get over winter and after trying them out I'm positive they will catch me some fish in those conditions, flash materials look amazing in water and are so mobile.

I really struggled for the first few hours as the venue was so low and clear, you could see right to the bottom, when i did spot the odd jack here and there they did not respond at all, whether it was down to the conditions or the fact that it was quite warm and bright I'm not sure. It wasn't the best conditions for pike all round anyway.

I decided to try a different spot for the last thirty minutes before i would have to pick the kids up from school, it looked promising as i spotted a better fish straight away, again it didn't respond and eventually spooked. I figured i was only going to stand a chance by lasting long range so the fish could not see me at all.
This worked and i got a solid pull and a fish was on, brilliant i thought as a low double was in the net, if i was going to go home with just the one fish i was pleased it was a double.

I moved along a bit and did the same again, another fish took and this time it took off taking quite a bit of line, i got it in close and saw it was a bigger fish then it took off again the other way. Eventually i got it in the net but as i lifted it i was surprised by its weight and then my net broke where the frame joins the head! The fish went back in and it was then a nightmare trying to get the fish in the net by trying to hold the net together with my hand, it was out of reach to chin it out and i could only just reach it with the net but i managed it in the end. A belting fish and my biggest so far on fly, now that was a result from such a dismal start!

It was time for me to go now and already pushing my luck time wise but i could help but have one more cast to see if more fish were about and I'd sussed the trick for that particular day. Typical, another fish took the fly, in a way it was fortunate it came off not long after taking as i didn't have time really. Just goes to show though that you should never give up and keep trying and thinking different things till you find what works, but why is it always when you run of of time that you usually make that discovery....

Here's a few more flies i tried out.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

A surprise jumper

Popped out today for a couple of hours perch fishing, Ive not done allot of lure fishing recently and really enjoyed using my drop shot gear at the coast last week so thought id go use it on the perch. The plan was to cast around a bit with jigs to see where the fish were and if they were not too high up in the water i would switch to drop shot.

I got a nice perch early on but soon realised that there didn't seem to be many fish about, its been a rubbish summer really, I'm just waiting for it to get a bit cooler so the fishing improves.

I decided to move area and as i did i kept casting to the far bank and trying to find the fish in different depths of water. I'd only just cast in and was reeling in the little bit of slack to stay in contact when something slammed the soft plastic. I expected it to be a perch but it then jumped clean out of the water, strange i thought as Ive never had that happen with a perch before. As it came closer i could see it wasn't a perch, it was a nice Ide. It was my first on lure having previously catching a couple on fly. Ide really are aggressive fish, much more so than chub i would say.

I never changed to drop shot in the end as i got carried away with the capture of the ide and tried casting around with smaller lures and keeping them just a few feet deep to see if i could catch anymore.
I had a few more perch and ended off with the beast below. Not the best of short sessions but it keeps me going till i can next get out.