A very different challenge for this weeks carefully wangled midweek mission. Chew Reservoir is not the easiest place to get a day on- I had fellow Devon RO Ian Nadin to thank for that one. With violent fits of vomiting and... (enough detail already) two days earlier I had wondered whether I'd be administered last rites today rather than a boat ticket. But make it I did.
Is the term "circus" a fair one for this vast, highly publicised water? I'm not so sure- having dealt with a few clowns of late as a water bailiff I have to say that the crowd were a good bunch; proper, well prepared and dead keen pike anglers. It does have its curious side though- when you've all had breakfast it's a bit like an airport lounge full of hairy pike anglers.
The textbook advise was to fish deads. The advise given to us by reality was that this was bloody slow bordering on futile. In fact it was lures that did all the damage on a bitter day where bites were scarce. We shared a respectable seven fish in the end- Ian had the best at eight pounds something, a spirited ruck too. In short though, we started out with ridiculous aspirations but quickly resorted to just enjoying the day. The only really remarkable specimen was my capture of a rather tasteless child's umbrella covered in silt.
It might be easy to assume from the press that all you need do here is turn up to catch a pike of pornographic proportions. As per usual, this is seldom the case. Steve Moore was one angler who did manage to boat a beastie however, a well deserved twenty four pounds and something fish rewarding his dedication and numb fingers.