I got away for some camping and watching the foliage very slowly turn up in VT this week. Since I was pretty sure I was too early, I brought the float tube and bass gear, just in case I got time...
I first went to a pond I saw reference to on line and got both skunked and the joy of a long kick back to the put-in against the strong wind that had come up.
So I paid a visit to wonderful folks the Fly Rod Shop and got two suggestions. The next morning, I drove out to the first pond. It was covered by white caps. Not in the tube...
So I got back into the truck and headed to the second suggestion a reservoir. When I got there it was quite still, so I setup and headed out. In 2 hours, I worked over the eastern shoreline quite thoroughly covering every visible piece of visible structure and the inner ranges of the weedbeds with poppers, my worm-like fly and streamers. Not a single hit or sign of moving fish.
So I started to work on the outer edges of the beds. My first cast with a popper got blown slight off target as the wind had started to come up a bit. So I started to retrieve back with quick strips to re-cast closer. The popper had moved about 5 feet when there was a big splash that had sliced through the 20lb fluorocarbon tippet like butter.
So I put on a steel bite guard on, another popper and re-cast to put it back there. The same quick stripping retrieve got a couple more hits but I could not get it to stick...
So I continued to work the outer edge of the weeds with out further action. I then went off and tried another arm of the reservoir that proved to be way too shallow and so after wasting a bunch of time I went back to the western shore and had one hit that looked more like a largemouth but didn't stick either. So I put on a mouse pattern without a weedguard hoping the bare hook would find home. But to test that you need a hit, which I didn't get. Hmmm... But then out of the corner of my eye I noticed something yellow floating out near the middle of the bay, so I went to take a look. It was my missing popper with 4" of fluorocarbon sticking out from the hook eye.
So I picked up the 10wt with the intermediate line and attached a red/white bulkhead to the bite guard. One cast, a tug to get the fly to sink, strip, strip, strip and bang it just stopped like it hit something really solid. Two hard strip strikes and a strong lateral set with the rod and it started to take off. It towed the tube a good distance before slowing and I was able to gain line on it, but a strong flash of a tanish tail and it was off again. Four more times i got it close only to have it sound again. The last time I got it close enough to get the "boga" grip firmly on the lower jaw. I measured 9.5 pounds on the scale. I tried to get a length with multiple passes on the 18" tape on the spray skirt, but she was not into that and started to struggle, but I guess 36".
If you are going to have a one fish day this was certainly the correct one fish... A nice first Northern Pike.
Now, I just need to figure out where these gals live in the Charles and Concord rivers.
Nice fish. Fairy tales come true when you do your due diligence.
Very nice. Pike are crazy. The best blow up in freshwater for sure. Little ones are kind of a hassle but when they get over five pounds or so they are a lot of fun on a fly rod. Thanks for posting.