When I was tying flies for my recent bass expedition my pal Mike Helliwell at Harrison's Advanced Rods suggested tying up some gurglers... this fly was one of the first I tied and I sent him a photo of it to his mobile phone... cell phone to you guys across the pond!
Mike's response was that it could do with being subtle... so I kept it for the pike!! My first time back on the lake and I decided to just stick to the deer hair diver that had done so well... not a response, so I felt a change was needed. I was going to pull out the trusty big bucktail but then decided to stick on top and fish around the lily pads with the gurgler.
The first free mark had a V shaped opening in the lilies and with the Polaroids I spotted a "log" in the water... but it moved! Mmm... I cast just beyond it and drew it slowly across the water... the log became a pike and finned itself into position, although it looked it didn't strike and at one point I thought it would spook. I deftly took the fly off the water and cast 15ft away to the edge of the lily pads and drew it parallel to the edge of the lilies... very gently! I stood well back from the water's edge under cover of the trees, gradually edging the tasty morsel to the inquisitive target. The fly was all but stopped in the water and the pike edged backwards and then repositioned itself to come up behind the gurgler... this was exciting! Front row seats at the execution... the crowd were baying for the gladiator to vanquish his foe.
As gently as I was fishing the fly so the pike was quietly stalking its prey... I wished I'd had a video camera to hand. The pike was motionless for a second then edged back as if putting a spring under tension and then all hell broke loose at it pounced and hooked itself on the fly.
"I'm in!" "What a fish!" along with the thrashing of the water brought young lads fishing for carp to watch. Gasping at the beauty of the pike... it's amazing how mid fight someone asks for a discourse on fly fishing for pike and what the fly line is made of!
Safely out and safely back in with a photo taken I got up and walked to the next mark. I could hear George Bernstein's comment from his book... How many pike are taken with a stationary fly? Quite a few in my book... but are they actually stationary? Full of mobile rabbit hair dancing enticingly in the water, how could that pike resist?
Footnote: The rod used was again the custom built 9/10 weight built for me by Harrison Advanced Rods - I can't speak highly enough of this rod. The line used is a Cortland 333 Pro Pike WF10F with 4-5 feet of Seaguar albrighted to 12 -18 inches of knotable 20lb wire... 49 strand similar to AWF but cheaper!