The rivers have been really up and down since the turn of the year, snow melt, floodwater, extreme low with frost. It's proven a real challenge to try and get things under way, but I have managed to squeeze a few trips in, including one or two blanks.
I always make a point of getting out fishing in the snow; there's is something special about capturing any fish in challenging conditions. The Swale was the destination, roving the banks with a chub rod at the ready. Steak was flicked out in various good looking spots, and eventually the rod hoofed round and a decent chub was quickly landed.
Despite my best efforts, nothing else occurred.
With the snow melting, and south westerlies approaching, the river was soon in flood. Ever the optimist, I was out on the Swale again, armed with worms, moving about and trying to find any suitable slack - this wasn't easy, and I had to keep a keen eye on the river which was doing its best to cut me off. A blank was expected, and was the result, but great to see the river in such condition....this is what creates the ever changing environment we come to love,
Eventually the river died down, snow came back, and on one horrid afternoon with gales and blizzard, I ventured out, again trying for chub. Trying as many swims as I could, my hands were really struggling in the cold, but the tip jolting forward had me grabbing for what I hoped was my target. The fight didn't feel right, fishing staying deep and slow for a while. To my surprise, a very big trout came up, and I was chuffed to land a pb of 3lb 1oz. Certainly a nice splash of colour on a very white day.
There have been a fair few other blanks along the way - truly a hard start to 2018!