Pike Fishing on Chew Valley Reservoir with Ben Bangham
I have been fishing for pike on the fly since I was a child. I have really found a passion for pike fishing over the last few years though and have been fortunate enough to have some great results. It is a large part of my winter guiding as well, it’s evident that it’s a very fast growing area of our sport.
What makes it even more exciting is that tackle companies have recognised this and have started to produce equipment that is specifically designed for pike fishing. Gone are the days where you have to use saltwater equipment and just make do. This makes fly fishing for pike far easier as the rods and lines can cope with very often, bulky pike flies which were previously hard to cast.
Last week I decided to treat myself and go after some post spawn pike on Chew Valley Reservoir. I have never fished the lake for pike before and was really looking forward to having a go for them. My mate Andy and I headed to the Chew, although it seemed the Gods were against us. Catch reports were sparse at best, but still, this didn’t deter us.
The Fulling Mill Pike Fly Selection features a selection of 12 of the best selling predator patterns presented in the FM Xtreme Box which has a lightweight construction with a non rust hinge. There are 2 of each of the following patterns:
262220 Dougies Perch 2/0
264860 Mackerel Sparkler 6/0
255840 Tinsel Town Silver 4/0
264960 UV Flashtail Whistler 6/0
262440 Dougie’s Roach 4/0
257840 Yellow FM 4/0
To start it was slow, neither of us had any form of offer for the first few hours fishing even in the most recently productive areas. I decided to go off the beaten track and have a go where we had seen no other boats (there were a fair few out). We had spotted an area where a weed bank stopped abruptly obviously going into deeper water. I turned to Andy and said that I felt confident here, it really felt right. We fished over the drop-off and four or five casts in Andy had a follow from a low double that turned at the boat, confirmation! It’s amazing how much harder you fish when you see something like that. Soon after I saw a dark shape following behind my fly that also turned away.
We reached another bank of weed so got on the engine to do the same drift just slightly over and with different flies. First cast, first strip BANG. I was into my first Chew pike. The fight was incredible, dogged and long. I caught a glimpse of it saw the width across its back and thought that if I was lucky it might tip the scales over 20lb. Eventually, I won the battle and my first chew pike nestled in the mesh, plus at a couple of ounces over the magical 20, it really made it special.
We finished the drift and Andy missed a fish of about 8lb just before we moved off. We decided to go and fish elsewhere for a while and give the area a rest as there were obviously a few around there. It was slow again and all that occurred was one more follow.
With an hour or so before we had to be back in we headed off to the productive area for one last go. The first drift produced nothing, however, half way through the second Andy locked up with his first chew pike. It ran him ragged but eventually came in, and at 13lb it was a new PB for Andy.
It was time to call it a day. On arriving at the dock it was evidently a tough day all round as only one other pike had been caught all day at just over 10lbs. It just shows that our gut feelings can be absolutely right and using the right flies in the right places and you can reap the benefits.
Keep an eye out this autumn for some of my pike patterns, get a couple and give them a go. Pike Fishing, Pike Fishing.