2012/10/7 A Day in Chew – Chew Valley Reservoir, Summerset

On my 40th birthday, I happened to be in England again in between business conferences. Long away from my family, Philip made me a wonderful present to go out fly fishing with me on Chew Valley.

Lake may be man-made, but English knows how to build a fine scenery. At the sight of peacefulness, I nearly forgot we came here for fishing. I should have brought my set of water paining instead!

Philip and I began fishing the bank for trout along with other anglers who already got there. It was bit tricky to make the game. Bank is formed on pile of rocks that stretched about 5 meter from shore then goes into drop off. Our flies got snagged very easily. And back of us is a hill that was very demanding to make long cast for our backcast kept hitting grasses behind.

I admit I stumbled on this lake. So, we decided to take a break then headed for afternoon game with a help of technology.

Fine skipper Philip is. He let me try for the game I sworn revenge: pike.

As we observed where pike anglers have gone on their boats, team of Philip and I began hitting prospect spots.

Cast by cast, my heart was pondering. And just when I thought they may be not a pike to check out my lure then…. good size pike (10-15lb fish by the look) was right behind my floating minnow and I saw him attacking it from side. He missed then changed his aim on nearby bait fish making big wake like submarine chasing destroyers.

Again I was intimidated by this ancient predator. I should have made my second cast, instead, I froze. There is something I can’t explain about pike, but it has the features that make the perfect match of my childhood dream monsters: Nessy, crocodile, and vampire.

So, English pike was victorious once again. I had two more chases by smaller fish that day including weak strike which I couldn’t set hook.

What’s Next Then? 

After my second attempt on pike failed, I now understand that this fish demands certain amount of faith, courage, and devotion when tried on fly rod from boat. That to me sounds like a contest of chivalry. Fine. My ancestor is country side samurai which is kind of chivalry in Eastern way.

1) Lodge near the lake, eat the local food, and make some friends
2) Wear something of St. George, the dragon slayer
3) Learn more about pikes in the first place
4) Offer a prayer at nearby Anglican church so my fly rod is empowered
5) Rig with the finest fly hook, wire trace, and pike fly
6) Try again

Special thanks to Philip Holloway for making this trip a wonderful time.