What a lovely start to the day that was. It is something I always mean to do but never seem to get around to doing it and that is taking advantage of the close season and walking the river whilst it is particularly low and clear and whilst the fish have got used to being left alone for a while.
I tend to fish the rivers more during the winter period when very little can be seen but believe me a stroll down the river this morning has revealed as much to-day as I would probably learn all winter, plus more.
I took a leaf out of my old Sea Trout and Salmon fishing days and made a point of walking along the skyline in bright clothes purposely wanting to spook the fish. With it being the close season I didn’t need to worry about upsetting other anglers and often the easiest way of spotting fish is to actually spook them from their comfortable resting points. Certainly I found 2 quite large chub in the tiniest of pools this morning, pools that I have always walked by not realising there was a slightly deeper hole in the river bed. I can certainly imagine those fish sat there in the depths of winter whilst the main push of the river flows over their heads.
The river has changed as all rivers do. One of my spots I used to catch from is now looking very different under water than it used to and it is now little wonder why I struggled to get a bite last winter from the spot which had been so productive before. No longer does the flow go in the same way and subsequently what was a nice deep clear hole is now a bit of a silt trap.
It dosn’t matter how well you think you know the river, get out there whilst it is at its lowest and clearest and see what you are actually fishing over. I must get back down with the chest waders whilst it is still wadeable and have a feel around with my feet and wading stick too. This gives so much more information than any amount of plumbing and lead dragging can ever do. These very short times spent looking now, can prove absolutely priceless come the winter and it was so nice watching a couple of those fish bolt from their holes this morning. Two were of a size which surprised me. I know where I will be creeping back and literally lowering a bait in next winter that’s for sure. Hopefully there still won’t be an actual swim there then either.
Even the tiniest of rivers can throw up the odd surprise.
Happy exploring everyone
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