Bright sunshine today saw me on the banks of the river Derwent talking to a friend who fishes there. It was great to see some water in the river again after the extreme low levels of 2011, even if it is still only about normal summer level. I am hoping for some decent rains this month - 'February Filldyke' as an old friend used to call it - for without them we will be desperate for water in the coming summer, both for our fishing and, some would say even more importantly, for general domestic use. River keepers, which I used to be, are renowned for their pessimism but things are going to get tricky if the weather doesn't get a good bit wetter. The recent cold snap will have collected many of the coarse fish together in our local rivers and the more hardy among us should be getting good sport from now until the middle of March, when the river season ends.
As a fly fisherman I am going to try my luck after grayling on the middle reaches of the Derwent with the hope I might just bump into a barbel in the process, a fish I have never caught by fair means - I once caught one by the tail when Spinning for Salmon on the Hampshire Avon. A trip before Christmas showed me where I could find some, so here's hoping. I am also planning a day or two after pike, both with the fly and spinning, something I have not done for many years but which has recently started to 'entice' me again.
Now for the rain dance! Where did I put that feather headdress and those ochre paints??
This blog was brought to you by Philip White