Following on from yesterday’s fun with the lure rod chasing the small jack pike on the Grand Western Canal near Tiverton, I decided to return but armed with the fly rod this time. I’d seen a few nice looking perch on my travels the previous day so decided to see if I could tempt any on the fly.
I took along my Airflow #5-6 rod and matched this with an #8 floating line. This seems quite a mismatch and I was dubious about the wisdom, so had a back up reel in case I needed to switch. The results however were fantastic! Given that the canal is pretty narrow and I was hardly ever casting much line, the overweighted line choice allowed the rod to load and cast properly with such short lengths of line out. The whole set up felt perfect!
The section of canal I’d fished yesterday near Minnow’s Caravan Park is very shallow and crystal clear with a good deal of weed growth so the floating line seemed logical. A sinking leader was more than ample to sink the fly to the required 2 foot depth. I used 3 foot of 20lb fluorocarbon tippet to attached a small fry type fly. Whilst I didn’t want to be using a wire trace for the perch, I wanted something reasonably substantial in case any of the little jack pike intercepted the fly. Judging by the hordes of small pike yesterday on this same section of water this seemed more than likely and I felt confident the Fluorocarbon would be sufficient if this happened given the size of the pike I’d seen yesterday.
I walked and cast my way along the canal, but didn’t see many perch today and those I did were small. Similar to the previous day, the little jack pike were out in numbers and more than happy to have a go. I had a few takes from small jacks as well as a larger 3 – 4lb pike follow the fly in without taking. Whilst no perch wanted to play ball, I did catch 3 small pike on the fly. All small but pretty fish – good fun and quite lively on the #5-6 rod. Strange how a day’s fishing often takes an unexpected twist.
Grand Western Canal near Tiverton on a grey and overcast October afternoon, and there’s a definite autumnal feel to the countryside. This is the time of year when my mind always turns to pike fishing with so many memories of previous years trips to look back over and take inspiration from. After my recent trips with Jason up on the River Avon where he had success with lure fishing whilst I struggled with the fly, I decided to just break out the light lure rod, a fixed spool reel loaded with braid and a few lures. I packed a selection of plugs and shads but ended up using the shads in the end.
I started on the Minnows Caravan Park section of the canal which is particularly shallow and often quite weedy. On arrival I found that a lot of the summer weed had died back and the water was crystal clear. Knowing that on this stretch of the canal that I would more than likely be encountering small jack pike I started off with a tiny inch and a half long perch coloured soft shad.
It didn’t take long before the first little jacks were throwing themselves at the lure. In the clear water I could watch them attacking the lure – but due to their small size and the fact the shad only had a single hook in, it took quite a few misses before I connected with anything. This little jack gave a spirited little scrap before slipping the hook just as I reached for the net. A short while later, after numerous other seemingly suicidal pikelettes launching themselves at the lure, I did hook and land one to save me from the awful blank.
The one fish on the bank really doesn’t give an accurate picture of the session. It was pretty action packed and a lot of fun – which at the end of the day is all I could ask for! What was really interesting was that I would often be fishing a section of water where due to the water clarity and shallowness I could see the bottom and everything in the water, or so I thought… I’d be retrieving the lure through a barren fishless section thinking about moving on, when the little pike would appear out of nowhere to snatch at the lure. Just goes to show how amazing their camouflage is. It also shows that it’s always worth a cast even if you think there’s no fish present!
I did stop off on the way home on the Greenway section of the canal which I knew is a lot deeper, but on arrival found it really coloured and murky.. Such a contrast to just a mile or so up the same canal! Half an hour spinning with no activity convinced me to call it a day. Still, an enjoyable days fishing!
Fished Minehead 4th October. Breezy, choppy, foggy and cold. What a change from the trip of just two weeks ago.!!
Two weeks ago we had loads of ray – today was the day of loads of conger. Very unusually for Minehead we had no rays at all..
I had 7 conger with biggest about 20lb. plus the usual procession of dogfish.
Mike had a cracking starry smoothhound on squid, plus a couple of small conger and those pesky doggies.