So 2018 all done and dusted , fishing wise a pretty indifferent year , Rivers were desperately low due to a long summer drought . This was a season with no real noteworthy fish . In fact it is a year that is only memorable because of the opportunities it offers for the future , 2018 saw me gain access to a small fairly local fishing association that offers a few miles of beautiful wild river that is brimming with fine wild fish. It is as unspoilt a place as you can find in this overcrowded island . Indeed I suspect that I will subconsciously limited myself to the times I visit . Natural rivers with quality fishing are by their nature vulnerable because of their own qualities .
I have visited my local river twice in that last few days . Firstly on the day before New Years Eve and then again new years day after returning from a New Years eve party on board a cross channel ferry. The first fishing trip was only notable for a couple of Grayling the best and the last fish of 2018 is shown above. The fish has a damaged mouth , Hypocritical? I guess. I know but I hate to see fish with damaged mouths . I have this naive delight in catching a pristine wild fish such damage just highlights that it has been caught before and apparently by someone who perhaps did not handle it as gently as he should.
My local stream is well known to me I have fished it regularly for the last 20 plus years , and yet as today it gives surprises , today I waded a stretch I have waded many times before to find that although looking similar a familiar bank side tree has keeled over and gone and a stretch of river 100 yards long has changed completely new deep holes and fast runs created like magic. For the last few years I have been a member of a local syndicate offering salmon and sea trout fishing. I have tried very hard to love it, much as I have tried to bond with the chalk streams. But there is to much of the rough stream brown trout fisherman in me. I think I have it out of my system now.
January the first gave me another surprise was the sight of a single cherry tree throwing out blossom on the first of January . Made even more un seasonal by the fact that today the wind has changed and that bright sunny day that you look at through the windows is in fact one with a lazy NE wind, lazy as it goes straight through you rather than going around. February and March are not my favourite months. They are to cold and to dark. Its a time for a break from fishing and concentrate on fly tying and heightened anticipation for the approaching spring.