Catching pike in floods

yellow pike fly

The magic yellow fly

Since the advent of the floods finding somewhere to fish has been a real problem. Virtually the entire Nene valley became a huge lake. So much for not transferring fish from one place to another!

Once the lakes and pits are full of muddy river water they can take ages to clear, and it’s likely that the river will come into ‘good order’ quicker – provided that there is no more heavy and prolonged rainfall. While waiting for this to happen I have been a good boy – tidying the garden and sheds, mending the shower etc… but there is a limit to how long I can go without fishing. I think it’s about four days?!

Seeing as my dog, Max, has to go out for his walks anyway, I made a plan. Knowing that the Nene was still carrying too much colour, I remembered a little spot where a small stream joins the main river and I thought it likely that the stream would have cleared quicker, giving me the chance of at least 30 or 40 yards of casting. Desperate it may have been but I decided to give it a whirl.

My guess proved to be correct. As I surveyed the scene I considered that a few pike would very possibly have moved in to the cleaner water to escape the heavy suspensions of the main flow. Third cast and I saw a large ‘flash’ just behind the new yellow fly. Another effort in the same spot and I was in. Result!!

It fought well but I was soon able to chin out a perfectly conditioned pike of exactly eleven pounds. Blow me down if the very next cast didn’t produce another one! This one was marginally smaller but every bit as pretty. They must have been packed in there like sardines, as seemingly every cast initiated some sort of action – pulls, follows. on-and-offs and fish! None of the fourteen fish I landed was as large as the first one, but with the exception of a couple of three/four pounders, most were in the 6 to 9-pound bracket – every one in good condition and a delight to catch! I stopped when I reached the main river – it looked far too muddy, and after all how many fish do you need in a session?! Although I’d felt confident of some sport, I never imagined that bonanza and I couldn’t wait to call in at Bob’s on the way home to tell him the news.

The following day was cold, -5*c according to my car, and our confidence was knocked. We decided to go over to one of our favourite venues in Bedfordshire – a series of three pits – and Bob opted for a couple of static dead baits. I considered that, in the extreme cold, the pike were unlikely to be on the move, so I settled for a light spinning outfit and a gentle walk. It was very cold but, with a total absence of wind, it felt almost pleasant. Although not confident I was really enjoying the ambience of the surroundings and large parties of wigeon arrowing and whistling overhead. A heavy take came as a complete surprise, bringing me back to earth with a jolt, and what’s more the slow strong head-shakes indicated a big fish. I had visions of a ’20’ but at 18 pounds and in perfect order, I was delighted with my best pike by far from this particular lake. In those conditions it certainly kept the “Lucky Green” flag flying!

18lb pike on a cold day

Nothing else happened as the light began to fade (at 3pm!), so we packed up, had a cup of tea and set off homewards. That one fish made my day. It just goes to show that with a bit of luck and persistence, success can come – even in adverse conditions.

Mike Green About Mike Green

Although a bit of a pike fanatic, Mike Green has been fishing in the UK and abroad for most of his life, catching coarse, sea and game fish in the UK, Canada, Alaska, New Zealand, Asia and Americas.