It may not be massive – just about a double – but I’m feeling rather chuffed with myself this evening. Today was my first ever attempt at fly-fishing for pike; with, I hasten to add, a fly I tied myself. It was an overcast day, and slightly warmer than the last few. When we got to the river at about 14:00, there was very little wind. There was also very little sign of any fish. The first hour was spent trying to get the hang of casting big, heavy flies on a 9 weight rod when I’m used to casting size 16s on a 6 weight. But eventually I felt that I was doing a reasonable impression of a pike fly-angler. Because there was no sign of any fish on the surface I was letting the fly – on an an intermediate line – sink a fair way down. By 16:00 we still hadn’t seen a fish, nor a sign of one. I moved ten yards up the bank with the intention of casting along a weedbank that lined the bank, and then packing up as we had an appointment with a roast chicken. After a couple of casts along it I cast out straight in front of me and stood chatting to Matthew while the black and silver fly I’d concocted that morning sank. Before beginning the retrieve proper I gave the line a jerk to free it from under a stray reed stalk when all hell broke loose and the rod was suddenly bent into a fish stripping line from a very slack clutch. I tightened it up slightly and then about six or seven minutes later what had looked like a long, lean fish turned, in the net, into quite a plump one. And a very satisfied me went home for a lovely Sunday dinner and a couple of pints.
Pictures of the fly to follow.