I remember as a small boy being told that we were going on holiday and I remember thinking about where we were going to go, what it would be like and what we would do when we got there. This state of anticipation usually counted down as "sleeps till holiday" was really half the joy of going on holiday.
As an adult I find myself still doing the same thing, usually its holidays or some other special event, but more often than not its the precious few hours of uninterrupted fishing that I get to do! The start of the new season heralded one of these events and for some months I have been eagerly awaiting the start of the new season. The countdown timer had been ticking and on Saturday afternoon it was finally time to head to the river.
And what a perfect day it was for the start of my fishing season....the sun was shining, there was not much wind and I had a few hours to enjoy the peacefulness that only an angler knows.
It was peace and quiet I was after and so without a second thought I headed down to Lords Bridge. On arriving at the car park it was obvious that the good weather had brought everybody out and there was not a single space to park. So heading back down the road again I parked just outside the bottom of the car park...where there is space for just one car. After donning my new waders and new boots and tackling up I was ready to fish.
Walking through the field to the weir pool brought back all the good memories of the season passed, chats with the farmer turning his hay, introducing a good friend to the joys of angling and catching those beautiful little brownies....
Dropping into the river on the Churnet is never an easy task and after clambering down the bank I was soon in the river and fishing. A few minutes later and the first fish of the season was to hand, sadly it was a grayling but it was at least a fish.
Moving up the river I was soon into yet another grayling and then it all went very quiet. After searching all the usual and more obvious spots it was clear that the combination of the cold and very clear water and the hard winter was going to make catching a brownie a hard task especially so early in the season. And it was about an hour later that I finally hooked into a small yet beautiful brownie who was hard to the bank. What a welcome sight this little fellow was...
As I waded up the river I really felt as though I was fishing an entirely new river. All the usual holes had moved and the river had changed quite a bit through the winter. Quite a few trees had come down in the river, resulting in new channels and some really good holding spots for fish, although none seem to hold any fish.
Another hour just ticked by as it does when you are fishing and suddenly I was into yet another small brownie. Once again this little fellow was holding hard to the bank. After a quick look at him he was released gently back into the river.
I finished the day on the last stretch up the Lords Bridge catching a small salmon parr on my last cast. What a great start to the new season and I look forward...with that keen anticipation that only an angler knows...till the next time I visit the river.