Trotting little rivers in winter.


Being a glutton for punishment, I was back on the little river this week trotting with maggots. I’d popped in the farm for a couple of pints and was interested to see a sign, advertising a ” full time person wanted.” For the life of me, I don’t know who would be brave enough to work in a maggot farm with that smell. The guys that work there are covered in dead offal, their cloths look oily and unclean. How you ever get that smell off you or out of your clothing, I really don’t know?

Anyway, on the river a strong very cold downstream wind was playing havoc with any stick float I put through. It was clearly a waggler or feeder day, but fool that I am, I’d only brought the sticks with me. I did find a medium Drennan loafer in the tube, and fixed it bottom end only. This did work, but the water was so bloody cold, only a few small dace and roach gave me a look in. It was really bloody freezing, it made me wondered what we did before all the wonderful thermal underwear, salopettes and quilted waterproof jackets? I was not cold all day, in fact back home I’d found I’d sweated a little during the walking I’d been doing.

Today I had the river all to myself, but really we are never alone are we? Two Red Kites hung over the valley all day, and a pair of Kingfishers seem to be following me upstream as I made my way, from swim to swim. Despite a fair amount of water still in the fields, the river was about two feet down, and that nice green colour was replaced with a grey green, that didn’t inspire confidence.


The sun did came out for about an hour at mid-day, and I sat on my little waterproof cushion for lunch. Hot tea with cheese and tomato rolls made me feel happy just to be out. It’s a cliché but so honestly true, sometimes it’s not about catching fish, but being out and about with nature in solitude. The days are getting longer, soon sure enough I will find and catch some decent fish and that will be my seasons start. After today, it cannot come soon enough!


Author: Fishermanrichard.

Retired and fishing as much as I can.

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