I don’t know why but I seem to have developed hayfever this year which has made me feel really grotty on some days when I haven’t felt like doing much, let alone go fishing! I am wondering if it is the time I have spent on the bank amongst all the plants and pollen! Anyway I did get out for a few hours on my regular river spot which I found much different than the last time that I went. The first clue was the muddy footpath leading down to the river where I had to tread carefully as I was only wearing trainers. When I got to the bank the river was brown and fast flowing and much higher than expected, clearly it had been raining more upstream than where I lived. I thought about turning round and going somewhere else but decided to unpack my chair, have a sit down and look at the river.
My usual spot for catching was flowing very quickly with a number of swirls and eddies but nearer to the bank was a calmer back eddy which looked more promising. I chucked a few maggots in and some groundbait while I tackled up my float rod which was the only one I brought and cast out into the middle of the river which just proved what I had observed, the float shot off downstream bobbing and jerking and no use to anyone. I then proceeded to cast closer in and watched the float progress slowly upstream still bobbing and weaving a bit but much more under control. I carried on for a bit and was just beginning to think that I was wasting my time when the float disappeared and I was into a dace, not enormous but not tiny either. That gave me encouragement so I decided to carry on. The float was at the other end of the swim in the eddies and going up and down a few times when I suddenly realised that this might be a bite! I struck and immediately felt a bigger fish, not enough to give much of a fight but big enough to get the landing net out and get it in safely. I took a couple of pictures and returned it, not being exactly sure what it was.
It had been about twenty minutes since the first fish and it was the same until the next one, another dace and twenty minutes after that the last dace of the session. When I got home I checked on the internet and found that the biggest fish was a chub, the first one that I had ever caught so I was well pleased with that! Overall it had been a good session fishing in difficult circumstances and encouraging enough for me to want to return.
I went back a few days later and the river was back to its clear, lower self. I spent a couple of hours trotting and only caught a small dace and a roach although I got a lovely view of a kingfisher. Last autumn I was pulling fish out of this swim very regularly and could see them in the shallows and was plagued by minnows. Even earlier this season I saw some beauties but this session again I saw nothing. I am going to leave this spot for a few weeks and come back to it in the autumn and see if it has picked up at all. In the meantime I can look for some different swims to fish to see if I can do any better.