Although it was quite sunny there were still thin slivers of ice on the shady parts of the bank showing where the water level had been a day or two earlier. No two days are the same on the river. Low clear and cold, and the bites were harder to come by. It took a couple of hours of casting the liquidised bread-filled feeder and its attendant lump of cheese paste before a bite registered. Once more it was a delicate affair. This set the pattern for the session.
The days are growing noticeably longer now, just a week past the shortest day. For those who care to look for these things there have been buds on some trees for a while now. In fact it's the development of buds that helps force the leaves from the trees, but it's at this time of year that the buds become really evident. It won't be long before there are green shoots appearing to cheer us up. Talking of leaves, the river should remain free of them come the next flood. Looking across at the brown carpet under the trees on the wood opposite I could see a distinct green band of grass and plants washed clear of leaves between the river and the top of the flood line.
Shortly before the light began to fade bites came at shorter intervals, but where still short, gentle pulls followed by a sharp springing back of the quiver tip. My other rod was fishing a single red maggot on a size sixteen in conjunction with an in-line feeder. The hope was that it would cause fish to hook themselves. Maybe it would have done had anything tried eating the maggot. Not one was so much as sucked.
The sun had warmed the afternoon, but once the sun got low in the sky the temperature plummeted. It was soon crisp underfoot and the air temperature at ground level below zero. Despite this my feet were nice and cosy in my new boots. So that was money well spent! The temperature above ground level dropped too, but about an hour after darkness had fallen it rose again. There was no cloud cover to cause this but when I returned to the car at six thirty there was no frost on the roof or windows only dew.
I'd left a few bites on the of chance they would develop. None did. Yet when I came to wind the paste rod in to pack up there was a chub of about three pounds on the end which required the disgorger to unhook. I really can't get my head round chub fishing.