Having decided to try my new secret bait I felt I ought to do things properly, so I arrived at the water by about 5.00pm and left myself plenty of time to get settled and bait up with loose offerings. Once again the river has changed out of all recognition from last season. Club members have been down here already, cutting paths down to the water and making various swims safe - last season you had a choice of one and if someone was in it, you might as well have gone home. Or stayed to watch them fish.
The river is different every time you go. For a start, every fish in there must be baked - done to a turn - and ready for the plate. I know we were, even after 20 minutes, and we'd arrived at 7.00pm, keeping to the shadows, scouring the water for holes in the weed, storing up the information for later. What must it have been like during the day?
Rob Beattie is the author of several popular fishing books. He's also a regular contributor to Waterlog magazine.