3 April – River Opening Day

The river was a perfect level and colour on Monday, with a green tint and only slightly cloudy. As I went to bed the level had risen 0.001m and it held steady overnight despite the showers. I woke at 6:30am, an uncivilized hour at which to go fishing. The dawn mist was burning off by the time I fired up the Defender and had completely disappeared by 10:00am when I arrived at Coultershaw Bridge.

I started at Rotherbridge and walked upstream to the New Riffle. The gravel had been scoured during the winter and streaks of sand had been deposited down the centre channel. It looked good. I tied on a heavily weighted Black Spider and carefully explored the top of the pool. I was confident that I would get a take, the Trout hadn’t seen a fly since October. I shuffled down the pool casting down and across. The grass was untrodden and there were no muddy footprints, I was the first to fish there. I tried the deep pool by the landing stage and all the usual fish holding places on the way back to the bridge. The river gave nothing, it was lifeless. A shower of rain presented an opportunity to move Beats and I drove to Keepers Bridge.


I sheltered under a tree as a snow shower passed over. I watched the river for ten minutes, nothing moved. There were no flies hatching or birds in the trees. The river valley was quiet except for the gas guns protecting the newly planted crops. I walked downstream hoping to find a hungry overwintered Trout. It was not to be. I reached the Tree Tunnel and decided to retrace my steps. The conditions were perfect and it was good to be beside the river for a few hours, I was not disappointed to leave without catching a Trout.