Sunday, 19 August 2012

on the top

Life on the water
The date was set for a day on the water with newly converted pike fly fisher and fellow metal head conan , so the day before I started to get my boat kit together and I also checked on the weather  which was telling me it was going to be el scorcheo (bloody hot) now when I saw that I was absolutely delighted , why I hear you cry it’s not exactly  the best for pike fishing , well strangely enough some of my best days have been in very bright hot conditions , and I know other pike anglers who don’t fly fish say you do the fish damage in very hot weather as the fight is to long you can’t  get them in fast enough etc. etc.

Well with the range of tackle that’s out there now that’s simply not the case and fish can be bought to the net very quickly without any stress to the fish and to be honest I’ve never had a fish go belly up due to being fly caught so don’t believe what you hear I firmly believe more damage is done by inexperienced pike anglers with dirty great trebles than is done by any fly angler with a single hook but then if you don’t want to harm then then the best thing to do is not fish for them but I suppose that’s a whole another debate.So here is my boat kit stacked and ready to go

Ok I do tend to take way loads of kit with me on a boat probably more than is needed but with loving fly tying i do like to see how new patterns work so I tend to take a lot with me, in the photo above you will see my main boat box, a couple of rods one floating line one intermediate (means I can change quickly if I need to) a large net , well you never know what that next fish will be , and I also have a green day bag which has lunch drinks etc. and some wet weather gear (this is Scotland) and because its going to be well hot I also included a box of subbugs for some top water  crazy stuff, boat partner for the day conan had never had the experience of a pike  hitting a top water  an today looked like it was going to be perfect for it ……..
A box of bugs and some smaller more trad poppers in case I needed to go more subtle but the contents of the box above will catch pretty much anything out there that will take a surface lure my subbugs have taken to clients muskies , largemouths , gts , northerns , stripers even bull trout so they do catch bucket loads and always good to have a few in the box even if you’re not planning a top water trip as you can still work em on intermediate and sinking lines

The contents of the box of doom
To the right hand side I keep a couple of plastic lock boxes with my spare spools and leader material , on top of this is my unhooking gear next to the left is a massive finsport wallet (a present from brother pike jedi ken capsey from Vermont fly guys/pike adventures) this is just stuffed with all sorts of flies , the rest of the bottom of the box is made up of plastic sectioned lure boxes with various material flies by box (one box naturals one box gliss and glint plus etc)  this makes it easier to find a certain pattern if I need it. On top the blue box is clouser minnows and next to it I have a large sectioned plastic box, this contains all my clips and swivels in size order. The small sectioned box on top of that contains prototype flies to be tested , inside the lid I have a large foam sheet that I keep a range of my go to flies on and also it serves as a drying pad , oh and there’s my sunglasses also in the case .

I had 2 outfits for today one was my intermediate outfit (the black butt) which has an intermediate 10wgt shooting head on it, this is an amazing outfit and I can shoot a hellava line with it , some of my buddys have tried it but don’t like it but each to their own , ive tried some of their top notch top of the range stuff but it has yet to feel as comfortable as my saber outfit.
The second outfit for the day was to be a subbug kit, again consists of a pike saber matched with a greys reel and a 10wgt rio pike and musky floating line (ignore the sticker I really should take it off) this throws a bug to horizon lovely bit of kit
To the fishing

When we got there it was like a scean from a movie half expected wallace to come out of the mist well by the time we got up to the spot the mist had really come down and although the sun wasn’t breaking through the surface was very calm so we decide to go with small bait fish patterns on the intermediate line ,we had done well with these before here a few weeks ago so was worth a try to get the scoring card open .
However after a few casts it was clear that the weed had gone nuts in the previous week that we wernt here and was almost a foot below the surface in 6 foot of water so I decided to change us over to subbugs , these are the conditions that they were made for , conan had no previous experience of fishing these big bugs and I think he found it hard to belive that something would hit this atrocity splashing and gliding its way back to the boat (sorry to scare ya pal) this aint no casting size 24 dry flies to easily spooked trout , but after a quick 5 min lesson he got it and I recast and the big bumblebee subbug hit the water with a resonding smack.
 now 2 things happened at this point one was that conan said nice cast I turned in the very same second to thank him and we both turned our heads at the same time to where the bug had come down , at the very same instant we did that a rather large double figure snaggletooth came exploding out the water with my bug firmly clamped in its mouth , the thing was pissed and conans face was a picture as it cleared 5ft out of the water shaking its head like a scalded marlin it  entered the water at a monster rate exploding the surface and then dived deep in the weed and promptly threw the hook , I turned and looked at conan what was standing there with his mouth open and words that id never heard before came streaming out . I just fell about laughing suspecting that conan was now a convert to the jedi way of the top.
That will do nicley
Once I had regained my composure and explained to conan that with topwater pike fishing your lucky to actually get 1 in free to the boat and that sometimes although its nice to get a tophy shot most of the fun is in the hit with this method and with that I chucked the bug out again into the mist , after a couple of pulls this fine fish also decided to launch itself skywards with bug hanging out its mouth , this time I had better control and despite a couple of heart stopping momments in the weed I netted it and broke in to grin subbugin you gotta love it 2 fish 2 casts hell yea .
So after the obligatary photos we got to fishing again and this time conan had a hit about 40 feet out and again the fish cleared the water but unfortunatly the fish threw the hook , which was a real shame as it would have been a new personel best for him I estimated 13 to 15lbs next time buddy ….
Ok so there you have it the bug in question that the scary fish wanted and also what was quite interesting was that I was using for the first time the fastach links I bought from pikeshak , now to say I was impressed with these would be an understatement they were awesome I was using the 75lb ones and I manged to get everything from longshank aberdeens in sizes 1/0 right up to the big 6/0 subbug hooks above ive been so impressed with them that ive now gone completely over to them over the crosslocks as they weigh a lot less also great product .avalible from


Pike are an amazing fish I mean check this fish out , and the bite mark it starts from where my finger is you just never know what the next one will be but hey tere all good to me and on such a sporting method as the fly just cant be beaten
The headz have it

Id been sent some of the new sandeel headz from nick over at deercreek and had tied up a few patterns using gliss and glint plus for a forthcoming bass trip im planning , id wanted to see what these were like in the water and what sort  action they had how the balance of the fly with the head was etc etc so id stuck one in the box to try as being a sunny day I knew the pike would turn off at some point , and as predicted they did turn of so I suck the largest size one on and flicked it out .
Straight away I saw that it fished on an even keel and it looked very eel like and I tought hell ive got it on be ashame not to give it a cast , I was sitting in 12 feet of water so I cast out a long line (these heads are very aero dynamic) and let it sink to to the bottom before starting a slow strip and pause retrive.
 Much to my surprise the rod banged over(I just want expecting that) on the second pause and a lively jack hammerd into it and put up a darn fine display of aerobatics I got the fish in fairly fast and it gave me a fine display of acrobaticts got to thank conan for the shot although he dosnt think it’s a good picture well I love it

Without doubt the pike wanted these they were all over them and not just small jacks , fish of all sizes were hitting them ,I would when tying these recommend putting a thing layer of uv round the head for pike purposes just to give the head a little protction from teeth this you wont need to worry about for saltwater purposes well in this country anyway , needless to say I have ordered a few more packs , if your interested in tying a few up ive done a v simple step by step which you can find here , there is also a link to purchase the headz
Something new to the box of tricks
So as you may be aware if you’re a long term reader of my rantings and this blog, you’ll know that I was having a few design blanks when it came to dna frosty fish fibre, well after my initial success the other day in producing something passable as baitfish that a predator may eat I dived straight in to the challenge and produced a few new things to play with, and boy did they work in fact all the flies in the above picture caught fish on the day and I may add looked bloody spectacular in the water , I can see a box full of those appearing soon .
Oh and incase you were wondering these were all tied on gamakatsu sl12s in size 3/0 and are 4.5 inchs long
So all in all a great day out and the new links I was using from the pikeshack chaps well worth getting, now a slight technical hitch meant that our sister website for predator fly hooks and limited edition flies wasn’t working properly and you may have been getting a message about the site being unsafe, this problem (which wasn’t even a problem) has now been sorted and sorry if you were unable to order anything if you head over now you’ll be able to actually purchase stuff HURRAHH
Today’s blog has been bought to you by 2 screaming mad metal fly fishing loony’s in a boat
These are all hand tied by me in scotland and as with all of fast flies stock it is all uk made none of this economy flies tied garbage you find on the net that fall apart on your first fish, so if you’re thinking about dipping your toe in the saltwater fly fishing challenge or even if you need a couple of saltwater flies for your holidays this is what you need and of course tied by me and used by me these catch fish
(a cave in Scotland)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Solid post Dave. JGR