With spring proving cold, the pike season has gone into extra time. Cue another couple of sessions on the Grand Western Canal, Tiverton looking for some action on a fly rod.
Todays was the big test- a session in front of the lense of Anglers Mail photographer Paul Hamilton. Very cold night and some colour in the water not exactly a promising start- or was it the extra pressure of the camera?
Session started on a Dodd's Dodger- a roach pattern I really rate, but no joy. A change to my own pattern, the "black beast" brought about a change in fortunes however, and along with two small jacks two more sizeable fish were hooked- the better at eight pounds or so. Intensely frustrating though- they came adrift. Pike not so bold today, only gently mouthing the fly, perhaps the reason for only lightly hooked fish.
We then moved on but found the canal at Sampford Peverell too coloured- hopeless for the fly, so it was time to move again. Time was running out! Had I missed my chances? Had the crappy conditions beaten me?
Bloody minded persistence got a result in the end, in the nick of time the "black beast" scored again, and I played out a nice five pounder, praying it wouldn't come off. What a relief to see it hit the net! No monster, but a good result given the unpromising conditions- and it doesn't take a beast to really bend that fly rod!