PFFA Chew Valley Event 20th/21st March 2010

>I had a couple of purposes for this weekend:

1. Catch a Pike
2. Learn how to handle
3. Any info/tips I could pick up along the way (Thanks to Steve and Dave for their input)

Friday 19th March
I started work at 7AM in Bromley with the car loaded with gear ready for the weekends fun. I was supposed to finish at 3, but due to all hell breaking loose at work I got out 45 minutes later, although not much later, I hit the Friday rush hour. after just over 4 hours I arrived at the Blue Bowl Inn. The place looked nice enough and was suitably surprised at my room. I had tried to arrange meeting up with James and Steve for a presession drink, so running late and my battery on the phone dying quickly I was glad to have arrived. Anyway, I got hold of James and he headed over to the Inn for a bevvy. I got hold of Steve also who seemingly got lost on the M6 toll road and was running very late. As we were chatting away in the bar, two slightly strange flella’s were earwigging and one said “you with the PFFA?” We answered yes and it turned out to be Dave Smith and Guy Eldrige. We all started chatting and was good to meet a few more members before setting out in the morning.

Shortly after Ben from PikeTrek turned up and joined us for a drink, chatting about fishing and the company. I thought it nice to actually meet someone from the company I got my rod from. After a few pints everyone headed back for some sleep.

Saturday 20th March
It was an early rise for a good breakfast before heading off for the day. When I arrived at the lodge James was already there, as was Steve and Andy. Dave and Guy turned up about 5 minutes later, just before 9. After a meet and greet, we headed in and got the boats sorted.

The boat pairings:
Steve and myself
James and Andy
Guy and Dave

The lake:

We all headed of in in different directions with a positive feeling. Myself and Steve headed to the entrance of Villace for a chuck and drifted a bit there, with no action. We headed around Nunnery and into the next big bay and fished along the northern bank. By this point Steve said it would be easier if we had an anchor in the boat to stop the drifting. It was alomost comedy timing as we noticed the bright orange buoy in the boat with an anchor on the end. Needless to say we put it to use. We continued to work the length of the north bank, Steve had a follow from a trout, but that was it from that bay. We also tried the very very calm quiet bay at the end of the larger bay, I hit the tree twice, but got my flies back with out snagging. Whilst lovely here it did not produce anything.

We moved over to south of Wick Green point. We fished our way along the reed banks at about 20 yards from the reeds casting in all directions, but again nothing. We continued on around the corner past Wick Green point and fished a few spots along the reeds there. In the last spot we were in I had a biggish flashabou self made creation on. I had just retrieved it to about 2 feet from the boat when all of a sudden a reasonable size Pike came from nowhere and went right over the top of the fly. It scared the be-jesus out of me, making me jump. I just wish the Pike had had better aim…

We stayed a bit longr but nothing more came of the area. We were both suffering for the long day in the oat and headed back to the lodge. We unloaded and met the other members.

The catches for the day:
Guy 4
Dave 3
James 1
Andy, Steve and Myself 0

We sorted out meeting up for a feeding over at the Seymour Arms in Blagdon, once freshed from the days sport. Andy headed off, which left 5 of us. We met up at the pub and had a good feed and drink, and discussed the days success’s and failures. Steve turned up last after kind-heartedly rearranging a locals rockery for them. It was a really nice evening and a good chance to chat to everyone. All being slightly knackered, we headed off for sleep in preperation for day 2.

Sunday 21st March
Again, we met at the lodge and there was a slight alteration to the previous days boat partners. I didn’t meet any of the extra 4 on Sunday.

The boat pairings:
Steve and Guy
James and Andy
Dave and Myself
Ben and Greg
Dave and John

Heading out to drift near the island:

Myself and Dave headed out south of the island and drifted towards it for a while. I loaded up my depth charge line and found this filled my rod a lot better than my intermediate and floating lines. This was to be the only line I used all day.

We then headed towards where I had seen my fish the previous day to give that a quick blast, no joy. We then headed along past Wick Green point to fish the reed banks I had the day before with Steve. It started quietly here and then Dave was on. It was a Jack of about 4 or so pounds and seemed very lazy when it came in. It was in the boat for under a minute whilst unhooked and then sent back to the depths, all 5 feet of them, although it went back just as lazily as it had come out. It was nice to see a Pike up close and handled quickly and safely.

A short time later on a back cast Dave hit into another fish. Again this was a lazy one that didn’t fight very much. That was chinned and pulled up for a quick pic.

Fish two being unhooked in the net:

Fish two for Dave:

Once the net was packed away, Dave cast out the the front and BANG, into another fish. This one had a bit more scrap in it and was a good size.
Fish three for Dave:

A little time later Dave spotted some eggs on the oars and also the sling which meant that two of the fish were females as they came in on different sides of the boats.

We stayed along the same oatch in a few of the natural bays. It got to about 3PM and we moved on to try near the island again. We anchored up and moved again quite quickly in search of Guy and Steve. Once the tour of the lake was finished to track them down, we spotted them. We had heard that Ben had seen the Pike in Villace spawning aggresively, so we headed over there and James and Andy were on the edge of the bay already, so we all headed in. All spread out we started covering the water. I looke around and saw Guy hooked into something and Steve ready with a net. A few minutes later a single word echoed across the bay “YES!!!”. Guy was a happy man. This turned out to be the 18lb beasty.

Myself and Dave decided that was it for the day and headed for the lodge. During the time we left the bay, Steve caught his first of the weekend. Shortly after that Guy and steve headed in and we packed up and headed home, leaving James and Andy in the bay.

It was great to put faces to names and meet a great bunch. And all in all I can’t wait for the next meet I can get to. I learned a lot and found a few holes in my fly collection. That will be sorted shortly.

And lastly, Some people were never meant to take pictures, Dave Smith is one ;). I don’t think any of us have seen such blurry images from a point and shoot camera, but then i guess thats why he fishes and not takes pictures…

Blue Bowl Inn
Seymour Arms
Chew Valley Lake

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