Ray & I went to the river yesterday. Sometimes at this time of the year, this is a bleak place. The wind whips across the flood plan and freezes your knackers off before you've had a chance to tackle up, but for January yesterday was almost warm - in fact, I was in shirt sleeves for most of the afternoon.
I glare at the tree in my swim. Unlike Burnham wood, it does not move. I cast downstream and begin to 'work' (I use the term loosely) the bait around the swim. After an hour Sean turns up and we catch up. He leaves around 8.30 and at 10.30, toes frozen, I pack up, having caught nothing, not even the tree.
I've meditated before on how fishing brings out the boy in me. Indeed, that one of the main reasons I still enjoy it is that it allows me temporarily to recapture what it felt like to be a boy. Most things change over the years, but the struggle of a small fish on the end of a line remains intact. Remarkably intact.
First trip for a while, so obviously maggots are the order of the day. The cheese paste still lurks in the fridge waiting for its time, but on this local river, I feel there's more chance of a result with something that wriggles.
Not much to report from last night's raid on the river. A couple of fishless hours - one gentle tug - surrounded by slugs which surely move faster when you're not looking at them. The highlight came after an hour when I heard gentle wings over my left shoulder and sat, awestruck, as a barn owl whumped across the river and into the field beyond. The sound of the wings was unlike anything I've ever heard - like angel wings made from cotton wool. Fantastic.