Frozen Canals – not good for fly fishing.

Monday, and I managed a sneak away after one of the kids school assemblies for an hour and half’s fishing on the Grand Western Canal near Tiverton. With the sun shining it didn’t feel particularly cold but given that when I arrived at the Greenway stretch near Halberton, the canal was frozen over I realised my chances of luring a pike on the fly were slim. Having driven up from Exeter and with an hour and a half of daylight left, I was determined to at least wet a line, so headed along the canal to the section near Minnows Caravan Park. This section thankfully had a couple of short stretches that were ice free and fishable. The water was crystal clear and very shallow. A couple of small shoals of rudd were to be seen, along with a couple of tiny jack pike. The clear water made it possible to sight cast to the fish which made for fun fishing, but despite parading a variety of flies past the jacks, nothing could tempt them. The biggest pike I saw during my wanderings (of maybe 6lbs) was under the ice and whilst frustratingly close – impossible to reach.. The nearest thing to excitement I managed was when a large perch that was lurking under one of the bridges followed and closely inspected my fly a few times. Maybe the clear water didn’t help – but for whatever the reason it wasn’t foolish enough to have a go. Whilst the fishing was not in itself successful, with the water so clear and weed free at this time of year, it did afford the opportunity to appreciate this particular stretch of water and it’s potential for future trips.