Let me set the scene to start with. Imagine leaving the house before 7am in pitch darkness, the air filled with dense fog and a heavy frost on the ground. You plan to fish a venue that you have never fished before but have instructions from a friend so you are confident you know roughly where you are going. Arriving at your destination after a slower paced drive than normal you are greeted by two young deer prancing across the road. You park up, set your fly tackle up and start following the directions. When you arrive near the water the water level is very high, well above the bank and in the fields, there are trees in the water, the mist is so dense you cannot make out much of anything, there is an eerie silence about the place and then it happens, the first fish of the day is spooked and all of your senses hone in, your heart gives a few thumps and your inner fish bum instinct kicks in.
Ok, I realise that is a departure from my normal writing style but that morning was magical, it was so wonderfully eerie, hopefully the following pictures will help convey that.
The first spooked fish was a smally, nothing to worry about but a great sign all the same. There were a few fish crashing about on the surface, difficult to say if they were pike or not as there’s a few other inhabitants in this particular water. One thing I can say for certain is that the water was freezing! I started off covering the water with a white and chartreuse split bunny pattern with no success. After a short time Craig joined me and we meticulously fished the bay. Nothing seemed to be doing, a few fly changes, a lot of areas covered and nothing. It took until about midday before we came across a fish when Craig hooked into a nice Jack that fell to a yellow deceiver. Here’s a short video of the fish, be sure to play it in HD.
That was Craig 1-0 up and something had to be done about that! Craig and I were working in opposite directions along the bank away from each other and not long after I had one have a couple grabs at my fly but it didn’t stick, got the adrenalin rushing again though! Presumably a Jack that missed the hook, could even have been a perch for all I know.
After covering a bit more water, I finally hooked into a spritely jack that gave a good account of itself. It was a white bunny pattern with a burnt orangey/browny/reddy marabou collar. Result! Fish on the bank and the score level at one a piece.
We decided to head back to the cars not long after this but on the way back Craig decided to try and outdo the 1-1 scoreline and upped the anti to 1.1-1. He found a piece of a pike! The full lower jaw was found in two pieces, a seriously impressive set of gnashers.
And that raps up this weekend’s fishing excitement. It was great to finally fish this water, one I’ve been looking at for a while and one that definitely warrants some time being spent on it. Hard to beat that for quality fly fishing after wild species in the winter outside the trout season! The weather is starting to get really cold though so it might soon be time to switch over to chasing Grayling instead.