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Happy new year

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.

The farmer had been out with his machines, so the banks looked shaved, as if he'd decided to give everything that didn't move a number one. He goes right down to the water's edge too with the result that the river looks twice its normal size. I love it here. The water the colour of tea, but with a sinuous, oily surface where the current is doing weird stuff that humans can't understand.

We understand that winter means maggots though, and that's what we gave 'em. Ray legered and float fished, I used the 15 footer and the centre pin. The rod was too long (note to self: sit in swim next time point rod at where you want to fish before tackling up properly) and I found it hard to control the float. Nevertheless, I caught this rather nice roach and later on from a different swim, another one slightly smaller.

That's about all I ask for on a winter's day. Anyway, the sunset would have made it worthwhile even if I hadn't caught anything. It was magnificent, as good as anything you'll see on an exotic holiday and you don't have to go half way round the world. This photo doesn't do it justice at all but you get a flavour of what it was like to be out in the Sussex countryside as the winter sun lit up the landscape.


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