26/02/2021 - Staying local

Bozza's published his eagerly-awaited "roadmap" now, so there's light at the end of the tunnel for us all. At the risk of putting the mockers on it, we can possibly even contemplate organising a much-needed holiday at some point (I've been missing the sea!). However, for now the message is that we still stay local and that will certainly apply to my fishing for the rest of the river season. 

Therefore skimmed the casters off the top of my week-old maggots to give to the birds and found that I'd still got the best part of a pint left, so decided to go back to the Derwent again. Had to scrape ice off the windscreen first thing, but when I arrived to find an empty carpark (bliss!) it was already bright and sunny and promised to be a fantastic morning. Opened the car door to the sound of a skylark doing his vertical mating dance and the smell of freshly-applied cow shit, the farmer having taken advantage of the frost to get on the fields.Turned left at the end of the footbridge this time and walked downstream a short distance to the cattle drink swim, knowing that as the sun moved round it would be shining straight upstream and into my eyes if I left it any later. 

The river was still up slightly, but had been at a steady level for a couple of days and looked pretty decent. Waded out to mid-shin and was soon tripping a double maggot over the gravel at the bottom of the shelf. Didn't have to wait long for the float to bury and the first grayling come to the net, fighting all the way in the clear water.

Had to work hard for an hour for half a dozen more, all similar in size, before I decided to move. Flushed a kingfisher in front of me as I walked upstream, so he must have been glad when I eventually dropped into the swim where I'd had a few last time out. Ran the float down into the same general area as before. However, after half an hour I'd not had a bite, so I was on the move once again, but again drew a blank in the next couple of spots. 

Eventually had a couple at the pipe bridge, but rather frustratingly I bumped off what felt like two good fish in consecutive casts - the rod arcing round with the strike as the float disappeared in virtually the same spot both times, followed by a couple of big head thumps and then they were gone. 

Carried on searching away in various swims, but could only manage one or two small grayling in each. Once again I failed them in any numbers, with the bigger ones also eluding me on this occasion. Had managed to put a dozen in the net before I ended up back at the footbridge and it was time to head back home for lunch and then unfortunately work in the afternoon. Left scratching my head thinking where all the fish could be holed up, particularly as I'd caught all manner of species on the float before Christmas. 

No parakeets this time on the way back to the car, but heard a bird of prey calling and spotted a peregrine flying low over the trees before it caught a thermal and then spiralled away out of sight. Hopefully be out again soon with this settled, mild weather continuing for a bit, but perhaps a change of species is now in order.

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