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...

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