Saturday, 25 April 2009

All "Chewed" up... what a day!!

Above: Toby

Where do I start? I could write a blow by blow account of the day BUT I’m happy at the moment to savour the day. I’ve arrived home after a drive of over 3.5 hours… I’m sore and elated and dotted with a tinge of “what might have been”!

I was due to fish Bristol Water’s Chew Valley Lake a few weeks ago and missed it due to a flu-like virus that knocked me out for a week… so I sold my seat to a fellow PFFA member Toby… you’ll see him on the flyforum as WCB and he sells some wicked fibre for tying flies. I had to visit Bristol on business so Toby and I arranged a meet up on Chew for yesterday, although we’ve spoken a bit on the phone, we’d never met.

Yesterday arrived, slightly overcast with a falling barometer and a stiff breeze (with a new moon!). We duly got our boat and went off to the first drift… on the way we had an good omen from the gods… a seagull crapped on Toby!!

Such was Toby’s luck he had 7 to the boat by lunchtime, I was the “happy” ghillie… unhooking and releasing fish. I had warned Toby that my casting was agricultural at best and Toby generously chose drifts in the afternoon that would put me closer to the action… I’d had follows and knocks but no takes.

My first take was on the drop on the first cast in a shallow bay… sadly it didn’t stick BUT a change of tactic to a floating line was working in my favour. We went on a long drift which we repeated a few times and this produced my first two fish on the floater. We then moved to deeper water where follows on intermediate line (Toby’s line for the day) and my sink tip came thick and fast… Toby was unlucky not to connect with a fish that we both agreed was in the 25lb mark… it was just awesome to watch it slip beneath the boat. I decided to cast and countdown my line and retrieve – it went dead then awoke… it was a BIG fish… I played it for a few minutes… I forget how long, it seemed an eternity and as it went under the boat again my line went slack and I brought home just the fly… ah well it is called “fishing” and not “catching”!

Our last drift of the day took us to an amazing hot spot where I forget how many lost fish Toby had and on one hook up I decided to get my fly in quick only to see it engulfed on the surface by my best fish of the day… a lovely fish of just under 10lb…

In all we boated 15 fish (Toby 10 v David 5… the home team won!) and probably lost as many. Who had the biggest fish… well I’ll guess we’ll never know… Toby graciously said late teens early twenty for the lost big fish of mine BUT we’ll never know as we never saw it… maybe it was Toby’s missed 25lb fish – who knows?

We gave up at 1730hrs having had a thoroughly good day with great banter. I’d like to thank Toby for guiding me yesterday… I had a great time and will be back to Chew to catch that big girl!!

A few photos of the catch from the day (note the jack that had been attacked by Grandma!) all went back well and if you spot blood it is all mine – a lacerated digit!!!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Dive, dive, dive!!!

Having watched the DVD I felt I had to have a go at tying some diving heads (found a Dahlberg diver tutorial on Simon Graham's Pike Fly Fishing Articles blog (see my links!!))... No the top one is an orange bucktail!! In order of tying today; from top down... 4th, 2nd, 1st and 3rd.... The red and white/grizzle are a play on Umpqua pike flies and the bottom one is a play on a Water dog...
Now all I need are some pike to try them out!!!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

In Pursuit of the Water Wolf - Review

OK, where have I been??? Well, having looked forward to a weekend on that great trout water that has large pike in it… I was ill. A “flu like” virus wiped me out the week before and broke into a full blown cold for the weekend. Last week I was recuperating and working hard. I did have a brief foray onto the lake but only one fish was seen and frankly it wasn’t interested!

So in that time sat in front of the TV with the hot lemon and painkiller mix what did I do?

I wasn’t idle… I tied a few bunny bug flies and watched a DVD…. Not any old DVD tho’! Probably the most expensive DVD ever! It cost me €35 and at parity between the Euro and the £GBP… well you get the drift. Was it worth it??

Ever heard of a Umpqua pike fly, a Blanton’s flashtail whistler or a Skok’s mushmouth? Well in this DVD you’ll find out what they are along with Barry’s Gen-X bunny!

“In Pursuit of the Water Wolf” had me captivated from the word go… I have never seen top water action like this. The photography is stunning aside from the subject matter; it’s enhanced by the scenery in Alaska and Saskatchewan. If you are a pike fly fisher or an aspiring pike angler this is the video for you! You will watch it, you’ll watch it again and then you’ll pause it, slow motion it and rewind and play again.

Apart from seeing massive pike taken on the fly this is a fantastic instructional video (although it may not be billed as that).

My summary of this DVD… 5 star filming linked with 5 star fishing gives this film a 10/10… Go buy it!! (worth every, cent, penny or dime!!!)