The first trip of the year saw me down at the Grand Western Canal near Tiverton at dawn, armed with a fly rod and all ready to chase the first pike of the year.
It was overcast and still, as well as unseasonably mild which I secretly hoped would mean the fish would be feeding. I decided on a #7 rod and floating line, along with a fast sinking leader and wire trace teamed with a 6 inch long ‘roach’ type fly. This particular fly is one of my favourites and has caught plenty of fish before which always helps inspire confidence. This confidence seemed well placed as I had a feisty jack pike attack the fly under the rod tip, and again on the following cast – neither times resulting in a hook up sadly. After that the little fellow couldn’t be tempted to have another go.
I fished my way away from the car until I’d pretty much resigned myself to a blank and decided to head back. A switch of fly to a similar sized yet slightly different coloured fly for the return seemed in order, and whilst I only had a cast or two at a few likely spots on the way back to the car I managed to tempt out two small, yet very welcome pike. Both fish followed the fly until the last moment and could be seen taking the fly in the clear water. Exciting stuff indeed! A good start to the year me thinks..