A day riverside is the perfect tonic indeed. Even though the conditions were far from ideal it was good to be in the open Stour valley landscape. I was probably the only one enjoying all the river had to offer on this particular stretch. I laid new footprints in the dewy wet grass as I walked upstream to where I felt there may be some hope of actually catching something, but to be honest, just being by the river was enough.
I always have visions of those lovely illustrations by BV in Mr Crabtree that show you each species of fish that will be in each part of the river - he would have been proud of my tactics today!
Trotting with a float sees two dace caught and it's hard going - cold, drizzle leading to longer spells of heavier rain which gets blown intermittently away by the odd heavier gust of wind. For once I was glad of an extra large flask of tea as brewing with the Kelly Kettle would have been hard work on a day like this. The flask of sweet tea offered instant gratification.
A change of tactic to lobworm tail hard and fast on the bed of the river in a quiet slack eventually lead to a goodly bag of roach up to just over the pound mark - they do amaze me how they find the worm in coloured water. Tentative plucks on the bait before a nice hard rattle on the rod top - all is good with the world.
The owls started their call earlier than usual - the church clock hadn't even struck five and the last cast comes much later than previous weeks. We are getting through the dark days now, slowly but surely.
I lost my hook on the last cast at last knockings to an unseen underwater snag so called it a day. A lovely stroll away from the river - two fingers held aloft in the V sign - not to the river which I of course gave thanks, but to Blue Monday which I had firmly kicked up the arse this year.