Tuesday, 27 December 2011
A Boxing Day Blast
After my detour with some surprising "commercial" pike, I've returned to some more flippant, down to earth canal fishing. And very welcome, after some days of festive gut ache and several enquiries over the small water twenty in the past week, which I'm informed has already been recaptured within a matter of days! This is one of the thorny issues with piking in general- but especially where small waters are concerned. The fish don't have much space to hide and whilst you can't begrudge anglers wanting to catch fish, you do worry about the condition of specimens repeatedly targeted. Pike can't suddenly switch to vegetarianism, and I guess ultimately it depends on how careful each captor is.
Back to the fishing itself though, and Boxing Day was an absolute blast on Tiverton Canal. Accompanied by my brother, sibling rivalry soon kicked in. I made the usual mistake of lending him my pike fly box- and a yellow fly proved the real destroyer, standing out well in the water even where it was carrying some extra colour. Was I to be defeated using my own weapons? It didn't seem to matter a whole lot while takes with all the finesse of a car accident kept occurring.
Had this fishing trip been a Boxing Day footy match it would have been one of those games that ends 4-4, with a penalty, three sendings off and a pitch invasion. Brilliant fun on light tackle, even if the pike were typical Tivvy specials, the biggest scarcely troubling the three pound mark. Ben ended up winning 10-9 in the catch stakes, although play was interrupted as a deer jumped into the canal! No joking, I'm not still sozzled from Christmas Day, someones dog spooked it and we watched the thing swim across and jump through the hedges to freedom. The other feature was swarms of Jackdaws- twenty strong mobs soaring over the trees.
It's great to see the canal so much healthier too, the rains having taken it from drought levels and back to health. Had there been a big freeze rather than rain, a fish kill could have occurred- and my fellow Pike Angler's Club RO Ian Nadin deserves credit this year for really sticking his neck out with the angling club and canal trust.
Aside from catching up on eating and sleeping, the Christmas break is also a good time to catch up on other fishing related homework- such as tying up a selection of flies for the new year. One current project is trying to use all sorts of household junk, odds and sods and flotsam to use for fly dressings. Christmas is great for this, as there's always lots of sparkly debris. Inspiration can come from anywhere though- most lately, the pet cat, Belle. She asks for it really, always jumping onto my lap whenever I'm busy at the vice.
She certainly sheds plenty of hair- and it's not bad quality either: fine, good colour and easy to dub! A little goes a long way too, so no need to pull it all out just yet! This cat is so tolerant, you could probably saw one of her legs off and she'd carry on purring. Here's a "Belle" Nymph:
In other news, I also have a long awaited shipment from Finland. We may have missed the Christmas rush, but I am now fully stocked for 2012. These are the hand carved perch and pike key rings (www.dgfishing.co.uk):