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Sex, Flies and Videotape - Chew PFFA Event - 20th - 21st March 2010

I'd not had long enough to book time off work on the Saturday (I'd forgotten like normal) but I had the Sunday off. When I saw the weather on the Saturday I was glad of this. It was horrible. Gusty winds and heavy showers. Not good in a boat. Your lunch gets wet :)

I'm a bit of a fair weather angler these days. Don't get me wrong, I'd fish any weather but given the choice I would rather be warm and dry. I try and work my fishing time into good weather because of this. I realise that most good Pike Fly Fishing is in the bad weather but I'm not a specimen hunter. I just like fishing, and dry sandwiches.

So Sunday came and the weather had started to brighten. This was good. We'd heard reports that some of the lads from the PFFA had caught on the Saturday. This was also good news. To say I was excited was an understatement. Scalesy is the same. Neither of us had slept much the night before. We were both counting down the sleeps, like children, waiting for Christmas Day.

I got picked up the morning by Deany, Scalesy and Uncle Greg about 8.30am. They had driven down from Derby about 120 miles away. I live on the way to Chew, just a few miles away in fact. Carbon Nuetral angling for me :)

As I chucked my stuff in the back of the car I noticed an unfamiliar rod tube. We all have PIKESABERS so it stuck out like a sore thumb. What's that? I asked.

'Deany's brought his trout tackle. . . . . ' Said Scalesy with a smirk.

'Throw it out' I said with a smile on my face. ' We aren't going for Trout, . . Pike is what we're after. Leave it at the side of the road and say nowt'. I was of course joking.

This was a remark that I later came to regret.

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We headed over to Chew and met up with the PFFA in the Car Park. I would have liked more time to socialise but everyone was keen to get on the water. Everyone except our car that is. They'd been on the road for a while and demanded breakfast. Uncle Greg ordered our breakfasts at the lodge bar. He was given a wooden spoon with a number on it to mark our table number. A wooden spoon? Greg took this as a bad sign! I tried to make light of his superstitious nature by taking the proverbial out of him.

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Now I'm not superstitious in nature. At least I try not to be. I know that some people are very superstitious about their fishing. Some people have rituals, some people won't fish on certain days of the week or moonphase. Scalesy told me a certain ritual he goes through before fishing. I won't go into it here though :) . . . . . . .

Anyway, I don't have any of these things bothering me. I just get on with it.

Except one.

Boat 27 on Chew.

Now, i have fished Chew loads of times, and always, always, always blanked when on boat 27. It can't be a coincidence can it?

So, as you can probably guess our pair ( Uncle Greg and Me ) got boat 27. I kept quiet about it. If I had tried to swap it wouldn't have done any good anyway (in my head), so as I loaded up boat 27 with our stuff I did so with trepidation.

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I'd been working all week on a way to broadcast our fishing adventure on Chew via the internet 'live'. Uncle Greg had brought a battery to power the sounder with and I was going to hook up my laptop and a webcam to it. The broadcast was going to be via a vodaphone 'dongle', and in practice it had worked very well. The picture was a little bit jerky but it was watchable. Sound worked well and I was really looking forward to doing it. I had used my mobile phone at Chew lots of times and knew the signal was ok. Not brilliant but I thought we could make it work.

WRONG!

Whilst I could connect to the internet it was painfully slow. It simply wasn't a strong enough signal to carry the video stream. I was a bit fed up about this, but I wasn't going to let it stop me having a good day. I packed the kit away and set my mind to fishing, and tried to put the 'curse' of boat 27 out of my mind.

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Now I'm not going to go into too much detail of the actual fishing other than to say we both fished our socks off. We tried deep water, shallow water, floating lines, intermediate lines, sinking lines, attractor flies, imitative flies, big flies, small flies, medium flies, cold flies, hot flies, smeeeellllly flies, buy one fly get another fly half price. . . . . . sorry, I went all Cheech for a minute there :)

We worked one half of the lake, and we worked it thoroughly, so thoroughly in fact that we strayed into the forbidden bit. We got told off for that..... Yes, it was us :)

I honestly don't think we could have tried any harder. We had not had so much as a sniff.

We spoke to Scalesy and Deany via the walkie talkies - They had been rammed by another boat going at full pelt earlier in the day. No-one was hurt so it was funny :) The other boat had sliced Deanys line off so Deany took this as a sign. He gave up Piking and started on the trout. Scalesy was still soldiering on though - They told us that they had seen Pike spawning in Villice bay. We had been down there earlier in the day so we went for another look.

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It was alive with Pike. . . . Greg and I pulled past pretty much every fly in our boxes past them. They were so close to the boat and the water so shallow that they were bashing the oars as we pushed ourselves along. I think they thought the oars were females. I even sat a fly on ones head, it was totally oblivious. It was a sight to behold, but incredibly frustrating.

We spent about an hour there, watching as much as fishing. There were some very sizable fish there and the water would suddenly erupt as they set about their courtship, thrashing and leaving long trails of stirred up silt in the water. The water left boiling for a few seconds before settling back into a flat calm. It was mesmorising, totally mesmorising. It was like being in a David Attenborough documentary.

We saw a few trout moving lazily amongst them in the water too. Either they were oblivious to the danger nearby or knew that which we had only just realised. There was no danger. The lake monsters had become passive, caught up in a ritual older than time. Dancing a dance in which only they performed, and everything else was no more than a ghost.

For those few hours they were lost in themselves, more importantly, they were lost to us.

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We set off back to the lodge. The evening was drawing to a close and it had started to drop cold. As we pulled in and started to unpack our kit we were joined by a couple of trout anglers from South Wales. I helped them to tie up on the jetty and we started to chat like anglers do. One of them had caught two decent sized trout which they offered to us. 'Saves me gutting it, see?' said the chap. I snatched his hand off. The missus loves trout, and I love having my feet rubbed. . . . . ;)

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So, that's my tale of Sunday the 21st of March fishing Chew Valley Reservior with the PFFA. I went home with two trout, John with one and we had not had so much as a follow between the four of us for Pike.

A big well done to the lads who did catch on the day. You obviously knew what you were doing!

This is the latest report I have from the two days - Apologies if it's wrong.

Dave Smith had 6

Guy Edrigde had 5 ( one at 18lb - a good fish in anyones book )

James Hall had 1

Steve Gait had 1

Bring on the next event! I've never let a blank put me off - I'd have packed in fishing about 30 times a year if I had :)

My one regret is not getting enough time to meet the guys from the PFFA. This will all be corrected at Mentieth, Just 61 more sleeps!

Tight lines,

Ben Beech

Author: Ben BEECH

Andrew CHEETHAM

I was there and i concurr.I fished with James HALL and although i caught nowt we covered loads of fish. the combination of your saber and Dave LINDSAYS sub bug was awesome.I will be speaking re buying another from you soon.I dont think i did anything wrong but i agree that Ken and Guy know thier stuff.See you at Mentieth.

Steve GAIT

It was nice to put names to faces at Chew & meet up with fellow pikers who had come over to the Dark Side.

I have posted a number of times on the PFFA & PAC sites trying to find chuckers of fluff in our around the North West.

I hope that for next season we can put on some fish-ins in Middle Earth. Maybe at Rudyard or even Ladybower [assuming we're just after the Trout, but with BIG flies].

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