The incredible Chew Valley Lake has produced a huge 40lb 2oz pike caught on a tiny fly.
The bait, which measured just two inches in length, was expertly twitched along the bed of the famous Chew Valley Lake in Somerset, by London’s Derek Beagley, who won a 20-minute battle with one of the biggest-ever fly-caught specimens that the historic water has ever produced.
It’s a fish that smashes Derek’s previous personal best for the species caught on the fly that stood at 22lb, and was beaten by the 59-year-old, who was using a 8/9 Greys rod, a 20lb leader and a titanium trace.
“I was twitching the small bait along the bottom in around 8ft of water and then this huge fish grabbed hold of the bait and everything went scarily solid,” said Derek.
“When the fish broke the surface for the first time my boat partner and I just looked at each other like we’d seen a ghost, then it stripped 30 yards straight off my reel.
“We finally got it in the boat and my legs were like jelly. Ever since the capture I’ve been like a schoolboy again and so full of excitement and adrenalin.
“I’ve fished here for eight years and it’s always been a dream to catch a pike over the 30lb barrier, but this is just incredible.
Chew Valley Reservoir is regarded by many as the finest big-pike venue in the UK, and fishery manager John Harris and the rest of his dedicated team never cease to be amazed by this incredible water.
“This just goes to show that it’s not just anglers that come and fish the trials here with dead baits and lures that catch the biggest fish,” said John.
“We have loads of huge pike here caught on flies every year.”