There's only one thing to do when the sun shines for the first time in a few days and melts away the frost. Go fishing. So I was surprised to have the river to myself. After such a spell of cold dry weather it was now well and truly down to summer level, running clear and a chilly 2.2c. But the afternoon was warm - until the cloud came in and extinguished the sun.
There was cat ice in the slack margins, and the water cold enough for the salmon to have donned their furry white winter jackets. There were a few sorry looking salmon mooching about the shallows and a couple that had expired. No really big fish that sometimes show up.
I put two rods out, one fishing a cage feeder and bread flake the other trying the in-line maggot feeder again. It took a couple of hours for bites to start developing. Short slow pulls on the quiver tip when I switched to cheese paste and faster stabs on the maggot rod. One bite to the single red maggot resulted in a snapped hooklink. I forgot the size sixteen was attached to a 2lb 12oz hooklink...
There was so little flow that I tried using a bobbin on the paste rod to slow the bites down. Of course I didn't get a bite while trying it, and as soon as I reverted to the tip I'd get a pull!
For the first time in ages darkness wasn't accompanied by a ground frost. Not even by dew forming on the rods. Although it wasn't exactly warm, the temperature held up. It was at half five that I managed to connect with a bite on the cheese paste. The bite was no different to any of the others, but I connected. Only a small fish. Nonetheless a surprising one. An out of season brown trout. Was this the reason the bites were difficult to connect with, or were the others from chub? I'll never know.
Half an hour later I was on my way home, trying to think of somewhere I can go to catch some fish by design. Not that the session was wasted. I'd walked the banks taking advantage of the low, clear water to scope out some spots for future reference. I think I've sussed a couple that look like they might be worth putting a couple of baits in at some time.