Chew Valley Lakes reputation was further enhanced this Spring with the capture of a British Record pike scaling 47lb 5oz. I have fished the lake on and off for over twenty years and enjoyed a mix of success and failure at the venue.

         I joined my good friend Bruce Elston for a day with the fly rod. The weather forecast had looked good with a moderate North West Breeze and no rain. I arrived at the lake just after 9:00am and  we chatted to fellow anglers as we loaded our gear onto the boat. It appeared that the fishing had been hard going. Undeterred we set out for our chosen area searching the water casting our big flies in ten foot of water. With a drogue controlling our drift we covered water at a steady pace.

         There was suspended algae present in the water and visibility was not as good as on some previous visits. On the first drift we had a couple of follows and pulls which was encouraging.

         Next drift Bruce hooked into a jack of around 4lb which boosted our confidence. On the next drift it was my turn and I brought a jack of around 4lb to the boat nothing big but at least we were catching. The next couple of drifts resulted in a couple of missed takes and a micro jack for Bruce.

         As the day raced past takes dried up as they often do during the afternoon. Hundreds of swifts were swooping over the water undoubtedly feasting upon insects.   To our surprise throughout the day we saw only a couple of trout rising which for late May was perhaps a little strange.

         With wind increasing and action non-existent we decided to head for shelter and enjoy an early evening snack. In a sheltered bay I lit the stove and fried up a dozen chipolata sausages. Bruce put out a team of buzzers whilst he waited for the culinary delight of a sausage sandwich.

         The sun broke through momentarily bathing the bay in evening light. We resumed our search for a while in the bay before once again heading back to the main expanse of the lake. I tempted another micro jack on one of Rodney Wevil’s bright orange scruffy tigers.

         As the light faded from a late Spring day we had several last drifts eventually conceding defeat at 20:45.

We had made many casts during close to nine hours of fishing at a guess I reckon we notched up close to a thousands casts in the day.

         Chew Valley Lake can be hard; its draw is of course that the next cast could bring that fish of a lifetime. I was fortunate to catch that fish a couple of years ago so I know it can happen. Maybe next cast?

Pike fishing seems to follow a natural cycle with each year slightly different. There seems to be an explosion of micro jacks this year with a few very large fish and low numbers of medium sized pike. The lake is large however and will always hold mystery and just maybe another British Record. A fifty ?

38lb pike caught in 2022