Toothy Critters…

A belated happy new year to you all and I hope you had a fine Christmas break.
After an extremely busy Christmas and new year for myself it was nice to finally get back on the river yesterday hoping for a Pike or two. With the recent mild weather, yesterday was in stark contrast with the car saying -3 degrees as Graham and I set off to our chosen mark. I was hopeful of a fish and praying that the sudden drop in temperature hadnt put the Pike off. We reached our first mark and although the water clarity wasnt perfect we both had follows/hits from smaller fish on our flies. The river was certainly warmer than air with the blanks of our rods freezing constantly.

The air started to warm up as we moved further along the river to our second mark. This place had been kind to Graham in the past and had yielded his 16lb PB a couple of winters ago, he was hopeful of a repeat and so he had first dibs on the mark. First and second cast he had hits although it was unclear on the size of the fish until he hooked it next time out. A scrappy fish around 4lb.

It was my go next as we waded further round the river to a nice slack that often holds a fish in the summer months. First cast a long fish hit just as the fly reached the surface in front of me but the hook didnt hold. Luckily next cast he was more than willing to have another go and this time the hook held. After numerous rampaging runs and thrashes he came to my hand, a well proportioned fit fish approaching double figures. 


It would have been rude not to have another cast and as I was still in position Graham gave me the go ahead. Neither of us expected another pike to be sat in the relatively small slack but there was. Straight away I was in again, the fish hitting at the end of the retrieve as they always seem to. Another fantastic fight and by this time my arm was aching! A slightly smaller fish, but more restless fish was succesfully ‘chinned’. Just as I removed the barbless 6/0 and cast it aside the fish thrashed, I managed to hold it but could feel my knuckles get scuffed by the gill rakers. A couple of snaps later and the fish swam away nice and strong.

It was at this point I noticed a slighlty more serious wound. As the pike thrashed one of its teeth must have caught my fingertip, it was such a clean cut it didnt hurt but the blood just kept coming! 

My fishing day was over. Graham had a few more casts in a few likely spots but the sun had risen up and had become bright – not ideal. We left slightly bruised but very happy with the mornings angling. 
A great start to 2012,
Adam Rawson
Dad, husband, maker of split cane fishing rods and lover of the great outdoors.

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