Growing up in Birmingham my early fishing experiences were mostly centred on the numerous park pools we had at our disposal, but occasionally dad would take us out to the Birmingham Anglers Association waters on the River Severn to get beaten up by the resident barbel. Whilst I later escaped Birmingham to go to university and didn't return, my brother never left. Lockdown was therefore a difficult time for us, having to put family celebrations for his 50th on hold and then him getting diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, thankfully now successfully treated. I was therefore prompted to buy a BAA ticket at the start of this year with a view to reconnecting and dragging him away from the golf course.
At first glance the river next to the parking spot wasn't particularly inspiring - shallow, clear and featureless, with the snotty, brown growths of diatoms that are prevalent at this time of year. However, not far away I could see the sunlight reflecting off some riffles and the gleam of some clean gravel. With the stretch effectively split in two by a road bridge I started off by heading upstream. As there was obviously nothing moving yet I tried flicking a gold-headed GRHE nymph up into the faster, broken water and letting it trundle back towards me. However, by the time I was nearly at the upstream limit I'd not had a sniff. Came to a small pool at this point, so changed tack and flicked a size 10 mini-streamer (apologies to the purists!) downstream alongside the tree roots .