I didn't think I would really write a whole summer off, but that's exactly what happened with work, holidays and a back injury all playing their part. The latter was the worst. You don't really realise how much you depend on your back until something goes wrong with it. Simple tasks like tying shoelaces are impossible. Apart from planned lure fishing for bass and wrasse in Wales, I'd been persuaded to come out retirement and do a triathlon (not done one since 2006) with my friend Simon. Needless to say, both went out of the window so I was not in the best frame of mind for most of July and August, a period my wife dubbed "the summer of misery"! However, by the start of September I'd improved (with the help of an excellent physio) to the extent that I thought about fishing again. First step on my rehabilitation was a trip to the Derwent after a big stripey. Had actually gone the week before to find the river dropping, but still too coloured for perch. Weather was cold and wet, but had a play with the float rod anyway and winkled out a few roach. By contrast, the river that greeted me this time was low and clear. That coupled with the bright, sunny conditions wasn't ideal either, so I headed for a section shaded by bankside trees.
Soon had a float working down the crease about two rod lengths out and it wasn't long before the loose feed brought the silver fish on. The bleak arrived first in their droves, followed by the roach. A sprinkling of dace and a few chublets kept me busy until it was too dark to see the float. The perch rod had been out for the majority of this time. However, it wasn't until the last hour of daylight that it came alive. Four runs resulted in a stolen bait, a very mangled and very dead roach and two perch about three quarters of a pound each.
Left the river to the night shift, already planning the next step in my fishing rehabilitation.