The morning's rain had cleared up, I was bored and had some new fishing boots to try. The last time I'd bumped into EH on the river he'd been wearing on a rather toasty looking pair of Baffin boots. I'd been managing well enough for a few years without the need for thermal boots - after the disaster of the Wychwood boots - but the last few weeks had made me think that warmer footwear was called for again. Yesterday I purchased a pair of the Baffin Outbacks from Ted Carter's (as I was in credit with them) and wanted to try them out even if the temperature had risen.
So off to the river hoping that it might be up a little and warmer than of late. It was certainly up - about five feet up. Before I'd arrived at the river the rain had set in again. I dumped my gear, put the brolly up to shelter it and chucked the thermometer in while I went looking for a spot where I could avoid the leaves that I could see coming down in the current.
The day was much warmer than I'd become accustomed to and even with just one fleece under the bunny suit I was getting hot. My feet were cosy in the new boots which proved to be perfectly all right for walking in, although not giving as much support as my usual boots they weren't uncomfortable like 'the boots from hell'!
After about half an hour I dropped into the only fishable slack I could find. The usual big slack was a churning cauldron and a nice glide that can fish in a flood was a moving wall of leaves. The water was warmer than it had been on Tuesday, 4.6c and rising slowly. Not warm enough to make me confident of a barbel, but good enough to give me hope of a chub. A pellet went out nonetheless, and then a lump of the cheese paste - both fished without any further attraction. Fishing a small slack it seemed unlikely that freebies would draw fish to the swim, and any fish in the slack would have no trouble finding a hookbait. That was the theory. It didn't match with the practice.
When I picked up my lovely new boots I also bought another pack of Drennan isotopes. I had one on my quiver but was sure I was failing to see small bites after dark when I had no point of reference for the isotope. Fitting the tip with two light sources is supposed to solve that problem. When I get a bite I'll let you know if it does...
Although it felt quite mild after dark (funny how a temperature that feels mild after a prolonged cold spell can be the same as that which made you chilly at the start of autumn) my heart wasn't in it and I packed up after three hours. It was being restricted to where I could fish by the leaves that did it for me. There were some tasty looking spots that I reckon would have held fish, but where a rig would have been wiped out by the leaves in minutes. Quite annoying. Not much chance of things improving tomorrow either. Pity. I'll just have to make time to fish later in the week, by which time it's supposed to have warmed up even more. Fingers crossed.