After leaving work early on Friday I decided to go and try out the pike flies I have tied for the first time, so I headed down to the local River Witham. I have fished here several times before with a spinning rod and lure but with little success. I knew there were pike about though so decided to try my luck on the fly. On only my second cast a small 20cm jack came out of no where to snaffle my 10cm green and black stripped zonker bunny. I was so excited! Being so small it didnt put up much of a fight, so I netted and unhooked it, took a quick pic and then returned it to the water as fast as possible. It was now safe to say I was “hooked” on pike on the fly.
I carried on down the river casting to various places I thought might hold more pike. I came to a point with an overhanging tree on the far bank and a small bush overhanging on the near bank. I cast the same zonker bunny over to the far tree and gave it a couple of sharp pulls… nothing. As I continued to retrieve the fly across the middle of the river I saw a shadow behind the fly. I paused the fly for just a moment and then gave two sharp jerks.. Fish on!! But this was not like the last one. Line shot out through my fingers and I could tell this fish was much, much larger. After a strong 5 minute battle the fish came to the surface, I realised at this point I should of bought a bigger net! I slid the fish towards the net and as it thrashed its teeth torn a hole clean through my net. I slid the netted monster up the bank onto the wet grass above. After taking a quick picture and unhooking the fish I returned it to the river, where with one powerful swish of its tail it vanished back from where it came. I estimated the fish to be just over a metre long and around 16lb in weight.
I decided to call it a day after all that excitement as it started to get dark. My first pike on a fly trip had been a true experience and not something I will forget. I will be out again very soon chasing pike on the fly!