Pike Fly Fishing on the Somerset Levels
A mid February day on the Somerset levels.
After such a wet and flooded winter followed by freezing temperatures it was nice to get out on the Bridgewater Angling Associations King Sedgemoor Drain for a full days fluff chucking for the pike.
Myself and ex England trout team angler Roger Truscott met up with Oliver Cullingford to search out some green monsters.
It was a early start on the water at 7am, but the sun was rising and looking like it would be bright by mid day.
With the sluice gates open the water levels have now dropped from 3ft above the bank to 3ft bellow the banks, so it was Cortland pike/musky floating lines and 6” to 9” flies on a 5ft 30lb leader plus 14” Cortland wire trace.
There are many venues around the country where you can try your hand at this type of fly fishing and most for around £6.00 per day
We covered a few miles of bank by lunch time with only a few fish to the net and it was beginning to look like a tough day, the sun had risen high in the sky and temperatures more like a warm spring day.
But there is always to halves to a day, and today was to prove just that.
By 2pm the sun disappeared behind dark clouds, you could feel a cold chill on the back of your neck has the wind picked up to 15mph and a few wintery showers started to fall.
This was all it needed and it became BOOM O CLOCK, the fish started to feed and carried on feeding for the next 2 ½ hours.
The Scruffy Tiger proving to be a good choice taking lots of fish.
Tactics where simple, a long cast and slow retrieve with fish often taking the fly on the drop.
We where being treated to the very best of pike fly fishing at this point, proper wild fish taking the fly with intent and then giving us a very hard fight before being coaxed into the net.
There really is not anything quite like retrieving your fly and then letting it hang at a rods length for a pike to smash it in full view, it does not matter how many time you witness this, it always makes you jump, always a spectacular feat of aggression conducted with the speed of lightning, predator fly fishing at its very best.
The rods bent over time and time again with a good share of double figure fish gracing our nets.
At this point it was a chance to try a couple of new pattern flies I had been playing with, and it was good to get fish quickly on each new pattern with the Atomic Tiger and Fiery Roach working their magic instantly.
In between the madness we stopped to for the usual banter, share tips and stories, then all three of us realised we are 3 miles from nowhere without another human being in sight, just at that moment we where treated to a rather large dog otter working his way along the far bank, and for once our angling was right up there with him.
We also seen large numbers of Egrets, swans and geese making it feel a real privilege just to be there amongst the very best of nature.
Back to the fishing and we fished on until the sun had set and we could see no more.
The three of us landing a total of 43 pike between us with six fish being doubles, we had a very long walk back to the car park but where left tired, very happy and just very thankful that we had been at one with nature and what it can offer.