It doesn’t matter whether I’m fishing a medium sized river for trout (although perhaps more so in NZ), searching through weedy edges of lochs for pike or even throwing big poppers in the surf it’s just bloody good fun and that’s where the addiction kicks in. Whenever the ‘standard’ method or whenever whatever the book says is meant to happen isn’t working and assuming you’ve gone through your other options it’s time to get something disgracefully big on there. You can of course skip straight to this step before trying other 'more sensible' methods.
As you tie on that fly you’ll have enough doubts flying around your mind that’ll lead you to question your insanity and depending on how big you’ve gone you might despair as you try to cast it but the minute that fly hits the water and you start working it you’ll smile from ear to ear and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
My own favourite is looking out across the dawn on a flat calm loch, seeing nothing amongst the weedbeds and then all of a sudden a large whoosh of commotion erupts somewhere hundreds of yards away from where you are. Then it clicks, “I’m getting out that duckling sized popper and I don’t care how mental that bait fisherman down the bank thinks I am.” The fly lands with a wallop sending out shockwaves across the surface. It lies there bobbed only by the motion of it’s own landing. “Bloooop” from one swift tug on the line. As above my smile start to extend all the way across my face as the magic of the popper captures me. Another “Bloooop”. Wait! What’s that?! An enormous bow wave starts to cut directly towards the fly at Mach 2 and before you know it the fly has disappeared in an explosion of water and your line pulls tight. Pike fishing at it’s absolute best. It’s not a method I’ve had masses of success with but disrupting the peace and tranquility of sunrise on a calm loch with a popper is just a sublime way to have fun.
That’s given me a good idea for a film! Whilst I’m making mine here’s a little clip I found.
In the time it’s taken me to write this I’ve started thinking of a pike trip somewhere, maybe Scandinavia. That’d be interesting, right?