First Day

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The first trip of a new season is always to be savoured for there is always an abundance of optimism for what lies ahead. On arrival the debris festooned upon fences and gateways told the story of the severe winter floods that had swept the valley.
The river was running surprisingly low and had that cold aqua blue hue of early spring. It was apparent that the winter torrents had sculptured the rivers bed creating deep promising lies where salmon could rest on their upstream journey.
I waded into the cool water lengthening the line as I stepped out. I then studied the fly wavering in the current at my feet before sending it on its mission to search the river for that most illusive silver prize of spring. The line glided easily through the rings settling quietly upon the river; the fly sweeping slowly and tantalizingly across the flow. The icy water stung the fingers and I was relieved to find that the waders were still repellent of the water.
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I walked from pool to pool fishing each carefully; observing the changes brought through the winter months. Dead grass and debris were festooned upon branches several feet above the water emphasizing the volume of some massive torrents during my winter absence. Several trees have succumbed and rest upon the bank the rivers edge bearing the scar where their roots have been ripped from their foundations.
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Despite a lack of fish it was delightful to be back at the waters edge with daffodils breaking into bud and birdsong resonating through the valley. Wild duck dashed from the river as I walked the bank making me aware that no one else had passed this way in recent hours. The familiar call of pheasants warned the valleys residents of my presence. The woods and landscape still retained the sombre canvas of winter awaiting nature’s brush to fill in the bright colour of spring and summer.
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To a large extent it will be the weather that determines the successes of the coming season. Any damage done to salmon spawning in the past few months will have no effect on this year it will be in five years time that the fruits of this winter return to the river and by then we will probably have forgotten all about that rain that fell.

About piscator2

An all-round angler I fish for fun and enjoy sharing my experiences and adventures at the waters edge. Each week I write a column for the North Devon Journal and occasional articles for various publications.
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