We were talking some time about a pike trip, which should ideally be planned in November.
As the call for a Rodtrip, aiming for pike wasn’t a hard choice, we picked the weekend of 15 november.
By mid October our lodge was chosen, tying of tandems, Furbies, and other big flies started.
Thursday evening, we went searching at the Brussels airport for our Swiss friend, and met another fly fishing madman.
We started the evening with some Belgian goodies, nice beers and went sleeping way too late.
Wake up at 5.45h, we took off at 7h for Holland. No traffic jams, and a nice sun (after two weeks of raining) were a good sign : )
We picked up our licences (Vispas at 40 €/year) and went to our lodge. On our way to the lodge, we wanted to stop every 15 seconds, because it was a drive along a succession of hotspots in fields, in front of houses, canals and lakes.
As soon as we could we fished our first spot and Xavier opened the score after 15 minutes with a small pike in a small stream of 3 meters wide.
We went on, and suddenly a Dutch ranger asked for our licences. So far no problems, but he than talked about our car, and our Dutch speaking guide was gone fishing a remote spot…
After a while, Johan came back and discussed with the ranger. He went off to the car to check the interior of the car to see if we had no pike in it… Off course not, and he came back with some gifts offered by the ranger. Serious, but nice people, them Dutchmen !
Off we went to another spot, and we found THE spot ! We stopped at a natural reserve next to polders and started to fish the lake.
There were some ‘hardware fishermen’ who just left the spot fishless. Xavier hit quite quickly our first serious client ! Our Rodtrip yell was born : ‘Yeah man’.
Jeremy landed this fish with his hands, and we all looked at a fat pike. We quickly took some pics and measured it at 84 cm ! Than it was Mathias his turn : first cast in a new polder : a big boil and bam, another big pike … After a nice fight, this fish was even fatter, and measured 86cm.
And it went even better as Johan hit his fish of the trip 5 minutes later : as he waited to let Xavier pass by, a pike followed his fly and as it dropped, it grapped the fly and took off.
This fish gave also a good account of itself, and came to the net for some very nice pics and measured 87 cm, another fat pike , and another ‘yeah man’ : )
We fished another half hour, and the night fell and we called it a day. Back to the lodge, and going to shop for food. We went off to a nearby supermarket and gathered all the goodies for a good spaghetti, sandwiches for the next day and … some beers .
After dinner, a nice spaghetti, we talked about the next day tactics, and Jeremy and Mathias couldn’t help themselves and started afterwards tying some more very nice pike flies.
The next day we started to fish : right at the lodge ! Remember, there’s so much water, that the hardest point is to choose a spot !
Afterwards we went off for some street fishing and got to a spot where some serious pike were chasing prey fish.
We tried them, and it was Mathias who took an nice fish after one strip in a new spot.
We then went further on in a very nice region to fish in front of some big, big houses, with small streams in front of it. It’s quite a special setting !
The fishing was hard, but we managed to get a fish, again do better than the local ‘hardware guys’.
Jeremy took his ‘garden gnome pike’. It hit his fly three times in a row before he could set the hook. This was in a small stream of two metres wide, in the middle of a living area.
The next morning, Johan threw a fly in a canal of 1 m wide at the lodge, and lost a pike !
We then called our secret agent back home to get some information. Off to a remote spot and after some searching we found again some most attractive water.
At our lunch pause, while Johan was telling our secret agent how we did : a huge swirl right before his feet, just before some prey fish jumped away for their lives.
Jeremy started fishing and after some casts, a serious hit, and soon another fat pike was posing for our cameras : )
Then we went to a new spot, and when we parked the car, Jeremy saw some strange creature burying in the mud…
We went closer and when it lifted its head it looked like a hyena. In fact it was a dog with big ears and his head was black of the soil it was rooting in.
A little later we started fishing in a bigger stream, our last spot of the journey.
Soon another loud ‘YEAH MAN’, Xavier and his ‘furbie’ was in for a very hard fighting fish on his first cast in that spot.
After some time it came in, and it was our fattest pike, measuring 80 cm.
A little later, Mathias was into a big fish, fighting harder than usual. As it eventually surfaced, it turned to be a fool hooked carp of about 5 kgs !!! A couple of pics later, and fishing out the spot, we had to call it a day.
Some more pics for Rodtrip, and we all took off heading home. We were all tired, and we agreed immediately : we will come back, soon !