Christening the Fly Rod – A Pike at Last.

Fly Fishing Pike Tiverton Canal

Success at last – a cracking 9lb pike on the fly rod!!. Great to christen the Greys GS2 with a decent fish as well. To date, fly fishing for pike has proven far more challenging than the plug / lure fishing that I’m more used to but I’d say the final result was well worth the effort.. It really is a joy to play a nice fish on a fly rod and reel with the direct feel that you don’t quite get with more traditional tackle.

After last weeks near success I was feeling pretty confident of finally managing to tempt one of the small jack pike this time round.  I managed to get down to the Grand Western Canal at ‘Greenway’, near Tiverton just before first light but with the kids in tow this time. Bitterly cold and pretty windy conditions this morning made fishing unpleasant. With a bit of rain overnight the water was quite coloured too and nowhere near the crystal clear state the canal had been in last weekend when I fished here. I’d only fished a couple of swims before the finger tips were numb and I was reconsidering the wisdom of dragging a 7 & 8 year old out for company. 30 minutes fishing was about all I could take before I’d pretty much decided to have a last few casts and head back to the warmth of the car, when to my surprise I finally got that elusive take. Rather than the small feisty jack I’d been expecting it turned out to be the rather more robust and stubbornly slow fight of a great looking 9lber. It has to be said, the fight was pretty slow and steady with no great runs that pike sometimes give when first hooked, in fact the fish came to the net very quickly. A chorus of shrieks and screams from the girls greeted the landing and unhooking of the fish – and I’m surprised we even managed to get a single blurry photograph considering all the fuss the toothy predator elicited from the girls. Nevermind – at least I got a picture of sorts and the girls got to see Dad catch a ‘crocodile fish’.

The successful fly today was a shop bought ‘roach’ type pattern with a semi-circle hook. I’d shortened the fly slightly with a pair of scissors to make sure the hook wasn’t too far forward (I’m sure I missed so many of the takes last week because the small pike were grabbing the tail of the fly and not getting the hook). Even with the tail trimmed back, the fly was still 6 inches long but cast very well, as the synthetic materials it was made of shed water well on the initial back cast. My next target pike wise will be to tempt a few on flies I’ve tied myself. Now there’s a challenge!

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