Another promising looking afternoon. The temperature had risen to a balmy 9 degrees and no rain for a couple of days meant the river was still plenty low enough and not running like an express train. It looked good when I went down at around 2pm. Bunged in a maggot feeder for a couple of casts then switched to a bomb. Got a bite after about 20 minutes but missed it (again – story of the winter). Another two or three bites within the following half hour or so, then it died a death. Frustrating! I’m struggling to suss this winter fishing out. Intuitively I’d expect the fish to congregate in the slack water, on the assumption that they would expend less energy. But in fact all the (meagre) action I have had has been in the deeper, faster water towards the middle of the river. When I’ve tried the slower, eddying water near the margins – nothing. The other thing I have noticed is the tentativeness of the bites. In the summer, if you get a knock then you can hang around for the fish to have another go and another and eventually it will set the rod tip going enough for you to give it a yank. That is somewhat different to what has been happening to me lately. You might get a knock, then nothing. Also in the summer if you get a bite but miss it, when you send the bait back to roughly the same spot you can expect a bit more action in pretty short measure. Here, when you miss the bite and re-cast, you’re lucky if you get another response within 10 or 15 minutes. I suppose the fish are sluggish and torpid in the low temperatures?
Anyhow, yet another blank but not complaining too loudly. There are worse ways to while away a couple of hours on a relatively warm winter’s afternoon.