So for the second consecutive friday I managed to get out of work by lunch and do a couple of hours of fishing in the afternoon and for the second time in a row I had a lot of contact with fish. I was only out for a relatively short time but in retrospective a whole lot of things happened!
My last meeting for the day at work I glanced out the window and judge by my surprise when a majestic sea eagle came soaring by outside with a flock of seagulls circulating it. A clear sign that I needed to get out of work and go fish instead, so I did!
I took a phone meeting in the car on my way down there and only stopped on the hourly drive to drive trough McDonalds for some burgers to go. Once I got down I suited off and put waders on and walked the familiar way trough the woods down to the small channel that I need to paddle across with the float tube to reach the island where I do most fishing: “The pub”. I am gonna save the story of the name of that island for another post.
I went down the gravel road, stepped off it into the woods, past trough the rocks, the swamp and then as I came up on the cliffs leading down to the channel I suddenly see a majestic deer standing 20 meters in front of me almost down by the water. I stop and we both freeze for a second just looking at each other when the deer suddenly chickens out and runs off into the trees.
I got such a good feeling from this encounter. All of a sudden one of the worst work weeks in a long time is blown away from my mind, my mood is on top and I feel genuinely good! It was like mother nature herself decided to give me a gentle push towards focusing of the right thing. Privileged is a word that comes to mind. I am privileged, I have this fantastic nature at my doorstep, I have two fantastic sons and a family who are healthy and loves me. I have an interest that I will live for the rest of my life. I am privileged.
Inflate float tube, fins on, pack on the back. Paddle.
Last week I had a fish strike on the first cast, a long cast just over a weed bed, it was not gonna happen today though. The wind was still from north west but way harder today, and from where I want to cast it came straight from my right. Not ultimate when you have bigg ass flies with 4/0 hooks flying around your head. I gave it a try but I had to go further down the island, as I do I slip and fall quite badly on my hip on the slippery cliffs!
I limp on and also swap from the blu zonker fly I tied earlier this week because I wanted a lighter fly to cast in the wind so I put on the firely one I tied last night. So new spot and new fly and wouldn’t you know I got a strike directly! I just saw as it hit the fly about 6-7 meters out from me and I thought I had it hooked but after a couple of seconds it dropped off, damm! Quickly out again but nothing, and ten more cast but noting more. At this point I start to think that it might have been my only chance of today.
I loose confidence in the red/yellow fly and dish deep down the box to try and find a white/green fly, my most successful color and finally find one! First cast out and about 10 meters out a vicious strike to the fly but once again I manage to miss the hooking. Quick cast again to the same spot, full concentration retrieve and just as I thought I had missed it, only about 4 meters from the shore where I was standing it struck again this time so hard I almost dropped the rod because I was just about to life the fly to recast. Needles to say I missed to hook that one too.
But the annoying thing is that over the next 20 minutes I miss two more strikes, and I am by now getting frustrated and confused. What is also frustrated is that it seems most strikes has been from the same pike, and by now it is a little careful. With every cast I do it follows the fly in but won’t bite anymore. I try to change fly but with no success.
I decide to leave this spot for a while and cross over to the other side of the island to try and see if that lagoon is better today than last week. But with the same winds this lagoon is almost completely sheltered and way too calm for the pikes liking. I do give it 20 minutes or so before deciding to go back to the other side again. I stop on a spot a little further in this lagoon, I still want the pikes on the other spot to rest up good. Now I am sorry to say that the trend was steady, first cast out and BAM! A solid strike but not even close to hooking it up! Argh!!!
I make ten more casts at this area and just as I was going to reel up and move I see a pike standing in the weeds about 6-7 meters out from me. I try and cast the fly a couple meters behind it and slowly retrieve it while it sinks down to the correct depth. Just as it pasts the pike he swims away from me, obviously startled from the fly. I lift up with the plan to cast the fly in his general direction just to hook up the branches behind me instead. Not my day today.
It takes me a minute to untangle everything, and once I am done I standing there considering if I should go back to the first spot or do one more cast here, at this point I am not very confident any more. I am in a “what’s the point” mood. But I decide to give it a shoot. Which was great. Because after six missed strikes I get a strike and I finally manage to hook it properly.
A strong one but not too big, so I pretty soon get it to shore and land it. Wise after last weeks try to take photo I put some more effort into it and manage to catch myself and the pike on the same photo this time!
Suddenly I feel much better, and I feel that I am rewarded for not giving up after so many missed fishes. But just to make sure I am not too happy I miss one more strike before going home.
Another great day, another fantastic start to the weekend!