I will remove the name from this P.M. to save any embarrassment, but as it is so typical of many letters and messages I receive, I thought I would include it here to perhaps save someone else writing the same.
Shaun Harrison Angler
Successful anglers have over the years picked up many little tricks and memories. I come across situations and remember a particularly effective approach which worked in the same conditions years ago and move straight in with that. Things like this only come with experience and can't really be taught. They are far back in the memory bank and only spring to light when similar conditions prevail.
I do tutorials and many are surprised that I only generally use two different rigs. Why? Because they have worked everywhere for me for many years, so I don't need to waste my time worrying about those. I know the fish love my bait, so don't need to concern myself about that either. Once you get to that stage it leaves much more time to concentrate on the important things in angling. Finding the fish and getting a bait in front of them without spooking them. Or better still, anticipating where the fish will end up and get the disturbance over with before they arrive.
The next important thing is judging the correct amount of bait to feed which all comes down to atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, moon phase and so on. It is good that you are keeping weather records as eventually very clear pictures start to emerge, with lots of common denominators, but it all takes time.
Sadly there is no quick stepping stone. I started catching carp 41 years ago and I am still learning as I go. It was years and years before I felt I could hold my own and catch similar to even the average anglers, let alone the good ones.
From your message you are going the right way, keep at it, keep your eyes open and don't get bogged down worrying about rigs and bait. There are good ones available to all and once you have them you can concentrate on the more important things.
River wise there are extra parts to take into consideration, obviously it is flowing so you need to work out where the fish would feel the most comfortable in the conditions. I would say one of the most important things in river angling is fishing at the right time too. Like on still waters, there will be an hour period in the day when they really seem to want to feed. Most of my river fishing is only for 2 to 3 hour sessions and I will often move swims during that time too. I always ask everyone when they caught their fish. I never want to know what bait or rig or whereabouts, but the time of capture is really important for my records and most are happy to share this and tell the truth. I am then able to hone my sessions really short and sometimes able to fish two different venues in the same day if their most productive times are different.
I am always happy to be on the river for the last hour of daylight for most produce well as the sun drops. I take advantage of this by choosing my first swims which go into the shade first so the sun isn't in the eyes of the fish. There you go, that is a nice tip to end on. Fish don't like the sun in their eyes.
Good luck and keep looking. The picture eventually becomes clearer.
P.S. Study hard at school in your English lessons if you wish to become a writer. There would be a lot of editing work to be done before any magazine could use your words in the message you sent. I wasn't great at English myself, but have had to polish that up as there are a lot of very good writers out there.