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Saturday, 27 September 2008 12:46

Fly Fishing For Pike

My Journey into Fly Fishing For Pike - By Steve Hills

Many thanks to Colin at Pike Fly Fishing for allowing UK Fisherman to reproduce this article. Please visit their excellent website at: www.pikeflyfishing.co.uk

I would have liked to write a piece on methods and practices in catching pike on the fly but as so far my experience and skill don't quite reach that far so i thought I would do a piece on how I got started in this wonderful sport of ours.

It all started for me as a natural progression from lure fishing. I spent many hours wandering up and down my local river Nene and various drains throwing lures in likely spots. I had my fair share of good days and mostly bad days.

But then things changed. I suddenly found myself no longer satisfied in catching pike using lures anymore. The price of the next must have lure was too much to pay with regard to satisfaction upon catching with it, and the tackle for this method is nothing short of sea fishing equipment. Unfortunately a necessary evil but no longer fun.

I needed a fresh challenge, something for the mind to dwell upon whilst stuck at work all day. For me fishing is not only about catching fish it should relate to everything about it, sporting tackle being a primary concern. I like to see fish get away occasionally, it gives me the fire to improve my skill and not just to use a bigger hook.

I had heard about fly fishing for pike before but always regarded it as too hard and a bit too up market for the likes of me so disregarded it for a while.

After a few more months of lure chucking I met a chap at work who is heavily into trout competitions. He used to tell me about captures of pike on trout gear and how a few people purposely set about catching pike with the fly.

After hearing these tails a few times I took the plunge and rang a stockist of fishing videos and ordered an American video titled "Fly-fishing for Pike" also another called "Fly fishing for big Pike" by Alan Hanna. I also purchased the books to go with them.

To see Pike caught in this way was absolutely stunning and the seed was firmly sown.

I bought a rod and reel and with advice from my trout fishing friend I tied up a fly. It was a length of black rabbit skin tied to a 4/0 hook with some lead wire wrapped around the head to give it some action. Then of I went to the twenty foot at Whittlesey and my mate offered to come down to teach me how to cast.

After much slashing and thrashing and swearing and wondering what the hell do I want to do this for, things got smoother. After a couple of hours and no fish my mate said he had to go, which left me on my own which strange as it sounds took the pressure of a bit. Anyway I carried on up the drain until I came to a spot where I knew there were a few small pike about from my lure fishing trips. Determined to catch something I made a cast along the bank a short distance and started to retrieve and sure enough thud the rod bent and i nearly wet myself. It wasn't a big fish, about 3lb, but I had never felt anything like it, I have had many fish of this size whilst lure fishing and find they are seriously out gunned by the strength of modern lure tackle. After much panicking and getting tangled up in the line I succeeded in landing my first ever fly caught pike.

I was very pleased to see the single barbless hook had caused no damage compared to some trebles I have used. Upon release the fish shot of as if it had never been caught.

Pleased with my success I cast again along the bank in the opposite direction and after a few nibbles thud the rod bent again this time with a bit more composure I landed and released another pike of about 3lb.

Pleased with my success I moved on in search of bigger fish but then disaster happened my rod sections came loose as I was false casting and split the over joint making it useless.

But that was it, a pike fly fisherman had been born, a better and stronger rod was purchased, also a better make fly line, plus a great heap of tying materials and a few good books. And the most important thing I purchased were some proper casting lessons.

My skill as a Fly Tyer is improving but as for casting and catching...well I'll just have to keep working at it.

I get a lot of satisfaction from the flies alone, every time I make a new pattern I've dreamt up, I get very excited about getting it wet. Many times I'm heading down the drains with the super glue still wet.

Fly fishing has given me everything I was missing, a real challenge but it's not so difficult the challenge can't be met with a bit of practice and determination. My only gripe is that it can depend on the weather a lot more than lure fishing. Some of the winds across those drains make casting a real problem at times but.. hey.. another challenge to overcome.

Author: Steve Hills
Source: www.pikeflyfishing.co.uk

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To do so, please visit the CONTACT page.

Sunday, 21 September 2008 19:30

Fly Fishing in Iceland DVD

Fly Fishing in Iceland - courtesy of Beckmann Visual Publishing


Description:
This ambitious and exciting film about fly fishing in Iceland follows Icelandic local fishermen as they pursue their catch - Arctic Salmon, Sea Trout and Arctic Char.

Fly Fishing In Iceland DVDThis is a unique fishing film allowing you to see the different fishing culture of Iceland first hand. Iceland is beautiful and a fish-rich, enchanting setting for fishermen keen to share with you their expertise and experiences. Though the northern summers are short, the fish are plentiful, offering up many unforgettable fights between man and his quarry.

The producer Eggert Skulason is the editor of the premier Icelandic fishing magazine called "Veidimadurinn" (The Fishermam). He has been fishing in Iceland for over three decades and has all the skills needed to point out the best places to fish and explain the tactics that work. Eggert is also a veteran producer having produced over 40 fishing films.

Five very different rivers are fished in this film, providing great variety. Among them is the River Hofsa, visited by Prince Charles for many years and a small but beautiful river in an isolated fjord that gets invaded by arctic Char every summer. The film contains some stunning unerwater footage including a big Char chasing and eventually catching the fly.

The DVD also includes maps of locations fished in the programme

Running Time: approximately 67 mins

Review:
Right from the start, I should say that I am neither a fly fishermen, neither have I ever been to Iceland. After watching this video though, I am seriously considering doing both!!

This is not fly fishing as most of us probably know it. Rather than well stocked commercial trout fisheries, this is fishing at its best, on wild natural rivers that tumble their way through some dramatic and stunning scenery.

The DVD manages to create just the right balance between technical fishing information about line, flies & techniques, footage of fish being played and caught and just unashamed shots of the wondeful Icelandic scenery. Underwater footage of fish in the natural habitat is almost obligatory in fishing videos these days and Fly Fishing in Iceland is no exception. It brings the whole experiece so much more to life.

I really enjoyed Fly Fishing In Iceland and would highly recommend it. Sitting at home in London on a miserable January afternoon, it has certainly made me want to get on my bike and experience other countries and the fishing they offer. If UK Fisherman doesn't get updated for while cos I've gone travelling, you can blame this film !!

Cheers for now ... Paul@UK Fisherman

Score:

Where to buy Fly Fishing In Iceland:
Fly Fishing in Iceland is available to puchase from Beckmann Visual Publishing in DVD format and is priced at £16.99.

To order this excellent DVD, visit www.beckmanndirect.com

A big thank you to Kelly Smith and all at Beckmann Visual Publishing for supplying UK Fisherman with this DVD for review.

Submit a Review: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our reviews. To do so, use the comment box below.

Alternatively if you would to submit a review of your own or submit an item for review at UK Fisherman, please visit the CONTACT page.

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