River Rhine's big pike 


 Photo contrib. S.Madera

We arrive at the water at 14:30. The river Rhine, it runs for over 1200 km. and it is one of the longest European rivers. The water level is very low. It is beginning of December and not much rain has fallen in the last months.

Part of the riverbed, usually submersed, is now exposed. Crazy as it may seem, with the mild climate (global warming?), despite it is almost winter, several sorts of tomatoes grow wild: cherry tomatoes..

San Marzano tomatoes, ox heart tomoatoes, along with sunflower and watermelon color the banks. All the seeds drifting in the current have now plenty of room to thrive wild, despite the late season and the latitude.

No sign of fish for the all afternoon, but a bite and a lost fish. Enough to give us hope and keep on fishing until the sun starts to set.

How thin is the line between a blanking day and a successful one ? Is it the "Sens de l'eau" ? Is the stubbornness and the refuse to give up ? Is it the last lucky cast at the right moment, in the right place ? The right fly ? Perhaps a combination of it all.
Suddenly a snag, then a huge whirl on the surface (we are fishing floating lines).. FISH ON ! A monstrous fight takes place in the incipient darkness. It is a big fish and now it is his time not to give up.

A monster pike has waited for the dusk to snatch his prey. He is so big that he could easily swallow a mid size duck. Instead, he attacked a relatively small streamer, a 10 cm. feather and buck tail flatwing fly.

What a wild fish. She must be a female, a big spawner full of maturing eggs. Carefully I gently set her back into her element.

Good luck beautiful and fierce pike ! May you procreate a numerous and healthy offspring.

The fly that made the day: flatwing streamer tied on hook 1/0.