I thought I'd walk a length I'd not seen before, and although I spotted a couple of interesting slacks decided to go to familiar ground. It was a pleasant walk in the sunshine, with birds singing as if it were spring, albeit a bit muddy underfoot.
Not fancying the prospect of fishing the same swim as last time I set up about fifty yards downstream. The river was up and dropping, the colour was also dropping out of it, but the temperature was stable. I wasn't bursting with confidence, I wasn't demoralised.
Soon enough something picked up one of my baits and bounced the lead down the river. Whatever it was fell off. Then I started finding snags. After an hour I moved down about twenty yards. There it was even more snag infested. I landed two smallish barbel and lost two more when the rig snagged up. One rig I got back with a straightened hook but minus the lead, the other snag claimed the lot. A few more rigs got fouled up and I was fast running out of leads.
The weather was a bit odd. The warmth of the day brought the bats flitting about wel lbefore dark. With the sky still clear it went quite cool when the sun sank below the hills, a mist rising from the river and the damp fields. But it was forming and clearing so I thought I'd have a chance of a fish when I saw some clouds moving in from the west. Indeed, that was when the action occurred. Eventually the clouds moved further eastwards. That was when I called it a night and drove away through a heavy mist with the air temperature down to 8 from the afternoon's high of 14.5.
With conditions changing as rapidly as they do on spate rivers success and failure can be decided by a mater of hours. One thing's for sure, it's no good relying on the EAs Rivercall as by the time you phone it the level has often changed. Angler reports on the internet aren't much more reliable. The times I've returned from a river and read a report that conflicted with my own experience are too numerous to mention. No. All you can do is keep an eye on the weather and trust your own judgement.
Today I shall be working. I'll probably read that someone's been bagging up tonight...