As some of you know, I spent the last couple weeks traveling. The second of the two weeks was spent in England, where the home office of the company I work for is located. In typical English fashion the sky was overcast and there was an occasional drizzle.
I had arranged for a guide to take me out for a day over the weekend to a lake for some pike fishing on the fly. This would be the first time I've ever fished for pike so I had really no idea what to expect. I assumed it was going to be like fishing for bass that have big teeth; I was pretty much right. The guide took me out on a boat and he slowly rowed along as I hucked a big streamer toward the bank near weeds and overhanging trees in hopes of coaxing a pike from his hiding place. The rod was a 9wt with sinking line and I could tell very quickly that I'm not used to casting something with that much weight. I could adjust my technique to manage, but my muscles were lacking and that's not easy to adjust on the fly.
So I threw that minnow-like fly in and around weeds and trees for a couple hours with no takers. Remember, I hired a guide for this and paid too much for this day of fishing, so every cast is like putting a dollar bill on a hook and tossing it out there only to see it come back to me empty. But finally I got a look by a fish and a little excited flutter hit. As I was stripping the fly back in to the boat a medium-sized pike shot out of his hiding place and went for the fly but missed. He slowly turned around and headed back to his hole and I pulled the fly the rest of the way in, picked it up, and as quick as possible tossed it back over the pike. I started stripping it back in and this time the pike hit it and took it. After a quick fight he was in the boat for a quick pic.
The rest of the day was equally if not more slow. One more fish was nice enough to me to hop in the boat but that was it. It made the cost per fish ratio extremely embarrassing and depressing.
And so, of course, I had to spend the next two days trying to recoup my fishing prowess. I only spent a few hours the next afternoon fishing the lake behind my hotel and managed to do some good. At least as good as eight hours the day before.
Here is one small pike that I caught near some reeds.
Not too much later I was surprised to catch a nice big perch.
As you can see there are no further pictures, thus I caught no more fish. I actually spent a large portion of memorial day stubbornly sitting beside the lake in the rain trying to catch pike, perch, and I even did some bait fishing for carp. Nothing. There were a few other people there fishing the lake and no one caught anything while I was there. The fish must have been sleeping or maybe they were waiting out the rain for the nice weather that followed.
Now I'm back in the states and will be doing some fishing this upcoming weekend. I don't know where or what i'll be fishing (for), but I'll be out there. Hopefully it provides better material for this blog.