On November 9th 2014, client and IGFA record chaser Richard Hart broke 3 IGFA line class records for perch caught on the fly and also broke the current length record by some 9cm!
(Claims have been filed with the IGFA and we are awaiting confirmation.)
Richard, Who currently holds in excess of 22 IGFA world records, had spent many days with “Fishing London” on excellent waters such Bewl, the River lea and the River Thames trying to track down large perch with mixed results but still no big fish, (over 1lb).
When the opportunity came up to fish at Chew Reservoir, one of the UK’s premium predator waters, guide Lloyd wasted no time in booking the boat for Richard’s day out.
The weather, unlike previous days, was clear skied, fresh and dare I say it - magical. Chew is a very impressive water. The view from the lodge of the lake was that of a mill pond, albeit an extremely large pond. The surface was like glass, reflecting the clear blue sky above. We could see bait fish being hustles and cajoled by finned and feathered predators from both above and below, We knew at this point this was our best shot to date. Also being Chew’s last fly fishing day of the season it was going to be our only chance to fish Chew till April next year too.
Fishing sinking lines and fry imitation patterns we fished on the drift not far from the bank where the depth sounder was showing solid bait balls below us. Quickly picking up perch after perch of the 4- 6oz range, a fish a chuck. But finding the bigger, older fish was proving hard.
Drifting we managed to find another, older, year group of perch, catch weights increased to 10-12oz. Rich then managed to pick up a decent rainbow trout of 6lb which didn’t come quietly putting a huge bend in the sage 9wt.
But, still no perch over the pound mark, Rich swapped flies and managed to pick up another bonus trout, this time brownie of just of 6lb, which also gave a very credible account for itself.
Then just a few cast after returning the brown Rich’s rod twitched with that unmistakable perch head shake and soon to the boat came Rich’s first line class perch of over 1lb. As all IGFA records have to be weighed on the bank we quickly motored to solid ground, measure, weighed, recorded. It was 2 oz clear of the record.
The same thing then happened twice again over the few hours, every time Richard caught a sizeable fish he changed tippet to a lower class before catching another record. Managing 3 records for 3 lines classes and then just before the final cast Rich’s rod almost doubled over and after 3/4 minute scrap a huge battleship of the perch broke the surface, a huge, long, fish with bright orange fins and old battered dorsal fin it only weighed 3lb10oz but it was the length that was most impressive, measuring a huge 43cm.
Lloyd managed to hook up with a decent pike of 13.5, followed an hour later by another at 7lb. All the sizeable perch fell to Rich’s rod. Catching the trout, which weren't our target species at all, was rather funny as there was a fur & feather competition on the water at the same time and most guys would have killed for those two beauties. It was also funny how many boats moved in on us through out the day thinking we were catching all the trout.
We had a great day on Chew and our thanks goes to John Horsey and the staff at Chew for there help and guidance on the day. If you haven't fished Chew, Go!