The second fish I hooked was different. We drifted back over the zone, the water depth shallowed up to about fifteen feet, gleaming white sands and bottom features becoming very obvious. I could clearly see vertical columns of weed, rocks as big as cars, rippling fields and waves of golden light. The underwater visibility once again blew my mind. I cast and counted then retrieved and within thirty of forty feet of the boat I could see my fly tracking close the bottom. Strip strip stop, strip strip stop, opening then closing, breathing – enticing.
The fish not so much as swam but rather, sidled up to the fly, stopped, bristled ready - tensed.
Appearing from behind a pale cream coloured rock, I had that same familiar feeling of ‘brain refusing to acknowledge or comprehend what was going on’ and hence was going into some sort of protective mode of disbelief which stops itself from frying -
But yes it was a big fish, yes it was inches behind my fly, and yes I was in fifteen feet of water and I could clearly witness what was happening. I could see the fly, I could see the fish then I couldn’t see the fly and suddenly I felt the fish on. Moving very quickly to my right, my fly line tracing through the water leaving a skinny bubble trail – zzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiipppppppppppp
I heard myself speak as I eased and controlled the fly line under tension from my hand – and then the drag started up
‘John, take a look at this quick’ I sounded in hindsight, remarkably calm
Two other fish had joined mine and were tracking him as he sped across the white bottom, twisting and turning in a strange ballet threesome of escape and inquisitiveness. The fish were about 5 or 6kgs and their light, smashed up blonde and green patterns of colour at times rendered them invisible in their world of gold and silver.
I was pike fishing in the west of Ireland in one of the most remarkable fishing environments I had ever seen.
Rod: AV Jensen High Tide #8
Reel: Vision XLA
Line: Teeny T300
Leader: Rio alloy hard saltwater mono with Rio powerflex wirebite tippet
Fly: Tied by Rudy Van Duijnhoven
Thanks Brian for making it happen