Over a week without wetting a line and I was going stir crazy. I really must have been mad to venture out today! Once the sun had warmed the world up it was a lovely winter's afternoon to be on the still-frozen bank. Hardly a breath of wind, bright sunshine, clear blue sky. Great stuff.
The river was up, coloured, and cold. Although it was just a shade over 3c it was carrying snow melt. Not conducive to any sort of fishing, not even the chubbing I intended. Once the sun dropped behind the horizon the air temperature plummeted forcing me to perform the daft balaclava/woolly hat double act.
The first swim I fished was a nightmare of leaves. The rise in the river level had picked them up and was bringing them down in such numbers that a bait couldn't be held in place for more than a couple of minutes. I thought I'd picked a spot just out of the main push of water, but hadn't. Shortly before dark I moved down to a slacker spot and fared rather better. It still wasn't ideal.
Cheese paste and even maggots failed to produce a genuine bite. It was grim. The sparkly stuff started forming on the tackle during daylight. The landing net, still damp from last week, was more like a tennis racket by the time I called it an early night at half five.
Fishing has been likened to a drug. It certainly induces some kind of altered state of consciousness to make people think they are enjoying themselves sitting in the dark in the freezing cold. And to think, it's not so long since I was bemoaning the air temperature dropping to single figures when I was getting back to my car!