Saturday, 24 January 2009

Predator Plus!

I knew today was going to be a good day, weather was great and having breakfast one of my other favourite predators was in the garden… the peregrine falcon has always captivated me ever since I read a book written and illustrated by Charles Tunnicliffe RA. I had the privilege to meet Tunnicliffe at his home on Anglesey (must have been 1976/77ish) and he signed the book for me. He was painting at the time and I noticed he had paint on his thumb and that part thumbprint is on the book as well as his signature. I continue to marvel at the way the falcon hunts its prey sometimes I’ve watched it taunt and tease its quarry before climbing high then to tumble and dive like an arrow without remorse or quarter given! I am very fortunate to have a couple of hunting pairs within minutes of the house; and now in the garden (best buzz since the goshawk nailed a wood pigeon in the churchyard across the road).

I decided to fish late afternoon and into dusk, using my “new” pattern again!

Clear skies and rising pressure and a relative calm before the storm (I hear it beat against the windows as I write). I kicked myself that I hadn’t cleaned the fly line from last week but 15 minutes in I had accounted for a 5lb pike… it is so good to feel that connection. I unhooked him quickly and then gave the water time to settle and cast again… Do you know some folk never learn! The cheeky jack followed the fly and mouthed at it but I ran out of water… I glanced about 10 feet away and a much larger pike moved effortlessly by almost oblivious. I changed to a tinsel streamer and cast about hoping for the big girl to strike!

I moved mark… back to my new pattern… I toiled for a good 20 minutes playing cat and mouse with another pike… I watched the follow and the half strike and then the pike twice picked up the fly in a half hearted way… and the connection was lost!

The sun had dipped away by now and breeze started freshen and swing round and an icy wind tried to tear at my clothes. A pigeon racing across the sky and high above a black mark plummeting to earth gradually getting bigger… Now I wonder whether the pigeon will make it to cover in time… probably not!

I’m looking forward to spending a day on a water that has great potential over the next week or so…
message to self: I must tie a supply of flies!


kcon93 said...

Looks like there's some marks on that pike were something bigger has grabbed it

Nigel Green said...

Really enjoyed reading your post today. I may be pressing a rarely-used fly rod into service to try for pike on the fly in spring. Your blog has really piqued my interest to have a go.


David Edwards said...

Glad you enjoyed my scribble... if you wish to have a go on the fly for pike I'd recommend looking at the PFFA website for details of recommended rod, line, flies and the all important trace.

Let me know how you get on.

By the way it is addictive!