We are well into February and this is now the longest period that I have not been fishing my memory can recall. I miss it as much as I expected. Those cold frosty mornings when the mist is slowly lifting off the water and the only decision is fish the next pool now, or warm up with a drink for ten minutes and then fish it. Either way the grayling will be there.
I don’t fish for grayling to stretch the season and although there may be a grain of truth to say it’s an excuse to be on the river again, the appeal of grayling has grown to become a pursuit in itself.
For once it’s not just the weather restricting fishing and although the rivers have frequently been blown, there would have been enough days to enjoy. No, restrictions of another kind have dampened the winter together with much of last year and fishing is the least of concerns.
Perhaps it’s the early snowdrops around the gate or the first daffodils I saw whilst walking the dogs yesterday, but I sense the proverbial light in the tunnel getting brighter. Is spring in the air? Definitely not, today there is a snow flurry, soggy ground and biting wind. There is optimism though. With the new season around the corner and the prospects of an easing of the shackles, mood is on the up! We all feel it don’t we.
The grayling may have missed me these past months, but I’m determined the trout will have no such luck. My fly box is primed and whenever my opening day will come, I’ll be there. Making up for lost memories.
I have set no great fishing goals or resolutions. Seeing a few old friends and perhaps making a few new ones will do. I’m spoiled for choice on where to look first, but as the Usk is an early riser after hibernation maybe this is where the season will start.
I was eighteen when Ian Dury and The Blockheads released “Reasons to be Cheerful part 3”, one of my all time favourite singles. The genius of Dury’s lyrics with a brilliant band. At the time I was leaving home, moving to London with a head and heart full of excitement and expectation. I’m feeling just the same today.
So enough of looking back on a shit year…this season will be stellar!