Not only do they deter many anglers from venturing out, they also usually mean the fish will be nosing around and having a feed. I find the atmosphere of being by the river on days like this to be, well, electric. Actually being out in a storm is far less fun and not something I’d recommend, but those few hours before…
It was on such an evening that I ventured out for my first river trip of the new season.
“Isn’t it miserable?” asked the lady working on the till at Tesco’s as I popped in on my way to the river to collect some spam – “yes, miserable” I said, smiling.
I was on the bank by early evening. The glorious transformation of the sparse, brittle river that I left behind in March to its bright and bold summer condition was as magical as ever.
I quickly settled into an interesting looking swim that I’d always fancied as a potential holding spot but had never taken a fish from.
Casually feeding little handfuls of hemp and the odd pellet for half an hour or so soon had some unidentified dark shapes drifting in and out of the main flow. By then I could wait no longer for my maiden cast of the new season and dropped the bait quietly into the swim. I wasn’t really surprised when the rod swept round after 20 or 30 minutes of little pulls and twitches, but the sudden and brutal charge that the fish made downstream upon being hooked shocked me.
A lovely orange and gold barbel of 6lbs 4ozs was the result. I let him catch his breath for a few minutes in the net and after a quick snap he swam off strongly back into his watery home. A few more little handfuls of hemp and a scattering of pellets went into the swim and eventually a slower more steady bite developed. This time a nice river bream of around four pounds made his way to the net. A lovely way to start the season.