If you were to try fishing for pike in the Wandle, the chances are you’d be wasting your time. Its butch bigger sister the Thames on the other hand provides altogether better prospects… We’d previously had a couple of pike-orientated club outings to the weir pool at Sunbury-on-Thames, with varied success. The highlight of the last trip was probably for the bystanders watching our chaotic attempts to row the punts in a straight line, zig-zagging and spinning our way in a not very upstream direction. This time it was the turn of the Pangbourne weir pool, home to many a legendary monster and exclusively accessed only through promises of heavy island clearing to a certain Wand’s grandmother (too bad the island was half underwater and inaccessible).

Our earlier attempt had fallen through (though resulted in a bonus day on the Wandle), and it was only on the very last day of the coarse season that we managed to arrange a re-visit. Despite the fact that boats and fast flowing currents were again involved, it was considerably more successful than the last Sunbury trip.

Pangbourne Weir Pool

Greg got a few big ‘uns on his killer home-tied flies, fished irresistibly slowly, including a pike that sat there watching it for what seemed like forever before deciding it did look tasty after all.

Greg’s pike from Pangbourne weir pool

Tony proved that South Africans can catch nice fish too…

Tony’s pike from Pangbourne weir pool

Adrian spent much of the day with his mobile glued to his ear, no doubt checking the fishing wasn’t going any better on the Wandle…

I’m in the boat

…though he did finally broke his Thames duck with a number of decent fish including this portly specimen.

Fat pike

And then there were the real monsters… (If only the camera really did add ten pounds).

Monster from the deep

The water was surprisingly clear for the Thames – we could see 6 feet or so to the bottom in places. Between the four of us we managed 11 pike, with flies very much the order of the day, outfishing the lures by a factor of at least 3 to one. Next time I’m taking my fly rod…

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