Monday, 22 February 2010
Bunking off at Blakewell
With a muddy Tiverton Canal looking less than appetising it was off to Blakewell to lure some trout on a welcome day off work with fellow wage slave Chris Gooding. The game plan was simple- big, sparkly lures yanked in front of big, angry trout. Unless there is some head of sparkly green and orange insects we've missed, you'd have to admit it's not strictly natural. But on the other hand it was bloody good fun to watch some absolutely solid rainbows attempt to destroy both our flies and fly rods.
I thought I was off to a flyer with a solid four pounder, until Chris latched into a fish that issued an impressive "sod you then" type statement, stealing line at a rate of knots and refusing any attempts to be steered in. At seven pounds, four ounces I was grateful to have packed a pike sized landing net.
More frightening still, the bugger managed to hook an even bigger fish which sadly came adrift after some ridiculously powerful runs. And some people claim the bigger fish don't fight? Further down the bank, visiting angler Jody Bee was the next into a real Blakewell beast.
Having put some extra pressure on the lad by taking some snaps nid fight I was relieved to see it hit the net. Another big fish to the lure approach- this one went nine and a quarter pounds and was equally stunning, fit and well coloured.
With a recent match it seems Blakewell has had a fair turn over of fish and whatever we threw at them, they hit. I switched to buzzers only to find the fish just as aggressive. At one shy of the full bag I then decided on my own lunatic plan to slay a monster- the thinking was that a pike fly would be too big for anything less than a mutant sized fish to eat. About two dozen pulverising grabs and pulls later I got a solid hook up, only to find a distinctly average trout attached; so much for my big idea! That's the trouble with bigger fish though- you get complacent and the samples you were only too happy to catch earlier suddenly look rather small...
We even had time for a little jaunt on Tiverton Canal on the way home. The water was decent clarity near Halberton in one area and so we put the fly gear to good use here too. Despite a biting wind, five jacks came our way. Pint sized fish, but they went well on light gear. The pike wanted a slower retrieve than the Blakewell trout, flies teased round cover getting a snappy response. So, having debated wether to go trout or pike fishing this morning, the perfect solution was reached- why not do both?