I am writing this on the last day of May yet we are still feeling the effects of the harshest winter for decades. I don't know about you but for me the winter was a succession of difficult days on a river that was reluctant to give up its occupants.
I think that the image above illustrates the point very well. The fast flowing Wye with a skin of ice on all but the central channel. Suffice to say I blanked on this trip.
One feature that is likely to come through my blog is that I frequently set myself goals and just as frequently fail to see them through. I like to motivate myself by setting targets but I often get distracted by some other species or venue or, and just as often, apathy sets in. Last winter demonstrated the point well.
In the autumn I had set myself a target to concentrate on chub for the winter. My goal was a six pounder, something I'd only done once on the Wye. On my next trip I fished cheese paste in a calm section during high water. The only fish of the day was a chub of 6.03 which equalled my personal best. Job done.
That should have been the impetus to go on and find an even bigger fish and I swore to myself that I would but, as the winter set in around me so my enthusiasm waned and with it my resolve. I guess I'm getting older and the thought of sitting it out in the cold or wet is less appealing, suffice to say my catches reflected that.
The last couple of weeks before the close saw a number of chub coming my way with a smattering of big fours and a five or two but I know that I could/should have done better.
Well, here we are in early summer and I have a whole new set of targets for the season ahead. I'll write about them next time.
As for the winter's long term effects. Where have all the kingfishers gone? I saw some during the end of the season and presumed that they had seen out the worst of it but now, the river is missing its most beautiful inhabitant. That piping whistle and the flash of metallic blue are sadly gone - for now. I hope that they have just moved on to pastures new where the fishing is easier but I fear that many have perished. They will return - at some stage, let's hope its soon.