Saturday had passed me by in a blur and it was already nearing lunchtime on Sunday. As long as I made it to the river for mid afternoon I would be happy. I could have rushed or put off the things I needed to do. But thats not my style. Not long later half a pint of maggots and a little hemp was readied, a flask made and I was river bound. I’ve visited the river quite a lot recently but I make no apologies for this. I’ve been re-discovering the art of trotting and catching some cracking fish. Most importantly of all though I have been enjoying every second. Surely this should be the biggest motivation for angling in the first place? And when you have a real chance of catching fish, like this beautiful small grayling, its tough to head elsewhere. Today the river looked in perfect trim. I was a little trepidatious about the idea of snow melt from the previous week having a detrimental effect, but I needn’t have been; the grayling seemed to be hungry. In the first swim I fished I took six grayling in six casts before the shoal dispersed. This was not a problem, just time to move on. In the blink of an eye I had settled into my next swim and began feeding maggots on the crease of a seaside slack. But something just didn’t feel quite right. It took the time until I was about to make my first cast to realise what felt so strange. I had, somehow, left my landing net in the first swim. Quite how this happened I have no idea so it was a trudge back to the first swim to collect it. A few more maggots fed to keep any fish interested whilst I was gone, of course. I was welcomed back with a 3lb chub on my first trot. Lucky I didn’t risk one without my landing net then. Strangely, this was the only fish I could tempt here. For a full 30 minutes I ran the float down the delightful crease. Apart from a few tentative bites, probably from smaller grayling (or super cautious chub), it was ominously fish-less. I felt it was best to make a move to a third swim and maybe revisit this one on my way back to the car. The third swim certainly delivered the goods though. In just half an hour I must have caught well over twenty grayling. Most were of the four to six ounce stamp though the odd better fish made an appearance. All of the fish fell to double red maggot hookbait fished over depth and held back. I love fishing this way. Line held tight between rod tip and float. The steady flow manoeuvring the rig through the swim. The fact you can almost feel the bite before the float dips. I love this way of fishing so much. It certainly helps to keep an angler warm during the winter months. I didn’t bother fishing any other swims today. I had achieved what I had set out to do; enjoy a few hours unwinding on a delightful river. I had caught a few fish too. With a lung full of fresh air, now decidedly more chilly with the absence of the sun, I began to pack away full of optimism and ideas for the next visit to the bank.
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Until next time,