Why is it that we get so complacent about our local fishing sometimes? I've been trying hard to net a really decent pike for the last few sessions, with some pretty underwhelming results if I'm honest. The problem with the whole exercise however, and indeed the mentality of thousands of anglers, is that we quickly become obsessed with size. I would be a hypocrite if I said I didn't try to target specimens at times in the season- but I do find it a little joyless at times.
Chew Valley finally happened- a beautiful place and a few jacks, if no leviathans on the day. Equally, my home patch on Exeter Canal has been tricky- again, some smaller fish, but nothing substantial in the trusted areas. In fact it has been a relief to get back on the fly rod again, to forget about the statistics for a bit and get back to pure sport: the shot below, taken by Paul Hamilton last spring, sums up exactly what I mean:
Thankfully, clear water and milder days have been great for the odd short session- last visit saw three pike taken in aquarium clear water on the Grand Western Canal, Tiverton. For some reason, a black pattern seems to be just the job in these conditions, when the pike are visible but not always ultra aggressive. The best pike that showed interest, around seven pounds at a guestimate, managed to inhale and blow out the fly without getting hooked- but this is all part of the fun I guess. Lobbing out dead fish and waiting just doesn't compare, frankly.