Dougie Loughridge: Fishing for Pike & a Fly Tying Demo

Last week I finally got round to doing a tying demo for Grafham Water Fly fishers. I'm saying 'finally' as it's been in the pipeline for a couple of years but something usually popped up. Well, actually two things popped up: the births of my son and daughter!

As this was going to be a 800 mile round trip for just one tying demo evening, I decided to tie it in with a days fishing on one of the Anglian Water reservoirs. These terrific venues are renowned for their superb trout fishing but my target was going to be the Pike which grow large on the prolific shoals of coarse fish which abound in these food rich environments.

As time was short, to maximise my chances I called upon a mate of mine Nigel Savage who, being a warden with AW, knows these waters particularly well. I've fished with Nigel a fair bit now and he is in my opinion, the top Pike-on-the-fly-man in the U.K although he'll hate me for saying that! The forecast for Grafham wasn't looking great so Nigel suggested we have a go on Pitsford which was fine by me as it's a venue I'd never fished before.

The fishing started well with a couple of Pike following the flies on the first drift of the day. It was to prove fairly consistent with follows and takes coming regularly. I finished the day with 9 Pike, we didn't catch anything big but to get decent, hard fighting fish on a new venue was a good result in my book. Thanks to Nigel for the day and sharing his knowledge. 

Incidentally, most of the fish were taken on a Flashtail Whistler tied on a 3/0 Partridge Universal Predator hook.

So after a 40 min drive back to the digs, I got sorted out, donned the PRO-Team shirt and set off to Grafham Water for the demo. It was the Clubs first Winter meeting and was very well attended so I couldn't help feeling a little nervous when the murmurs and chat simmered down and it was time to tie!

I figured that a good starting point would be to tie the fly which was so effective that morning so I knocked up a Flashtail Whistler. This is a great demo fly as it contains several materials and tying techniques. I also did a Surf Candy Sandeel fleye for the saltwater enthusiasts as well as a stealth-style baitfish pattern. I thoroughly enjoyed my night and feedback is that the demo was well received. Thanks to Colin Brett for the invite and Peter Waterhouse for his hospitality. I can't wait to go back.

Now it's time to prepare for the big one, the Irish Flyfair in Galway........

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