Now I still had to work around my homely duties which meant playing taxi to my wife each day. I have no quibbles on that score, but it does mean that the really good fishing hours (early / late) are never on the cards all week.
For the 16th that meant heading for a low key water where I would easily find a peg to my liking, rather than battling the masses at a more popular water.
The Stour was the chosen venue. It's a water I haven't fished during my blogger days and the section in question is one I hadn't visited for around 25 years.
Running slow and deep, it was always going to be a tricky one in the bright and warm conditions. A few chublets and a solitary perch saved me from a blank, but it was another underwhelming start to a season. Sometimes though it matters not a jot. I was just happy to be fishing and I wasn't bothered by a soul all day.
He moved up and joined me and we battled hard for bits throughout the day. I usually like to plunder the margins for easy pickings, but it proved fruitless until I dropped a bait close in late on in desperation.
I bagged myself a nice perch of 1lb 6oz, before a better one gave me the run around 10 minutes later. A fish of 2lb 4oz was the result.
It came as a nice bonus to kick start my blogger's challenge points tally.
Day three took me to the Leam. Another fickle little devil on its day and heading for deep water, I was probably a sucker for punishment. This was only a short session though as I had a long day 4 in prospect and I was already feeling knackered after doing two days. I'm definitely feeling it more as I get older!
It was an odd session where bites were at a premium and I banked just three fish. Peas in a pod they were. All chub, between 14oz and 1lb. What made it weird was that I'd never had a chub from the swim all last year. In fact I can only recall catching two chub from the river during the whole of last season.
The final outing saw me heading up north for a change to the Anker. It's a river I'd fished only once previously and even then it was a brief encounter combined with the Sence.
I knew nothing of the section in question, but reports of the river in general suggested it could hold specimen fish of many species.
For once I was glad to meet someone on the bank and I quizzed him into submission. I think he was glad to get away in the end ... and I still had plenty more questions to ask! Anyway it threw up some valuable information about the potential of the stretch, not forgetting the little gem of a sunken Mini a few swims downstream!
It was another long old slog and I had to ring the changes and scale back a fair bit to get some small roach and perch to play ball. The first roach was noteworthy. Not for its size, but for the pike that came out from under my feet to attack it when I returned it to the water. I think I'll be doing a spot of predator hunting in this area later in the year.
I'd given up hope of catching anything decent and was down to last cast saloon, having tossed all my other bait away. I left my float right in the margins and started packing items away. The float slid away and the rod arched over at last.
A spirited but fairly event free fight ensued and I eventually bagged my prize in the shape of an olive green tench. It weighed bang on 4lb and put a big smile on my face at the end of a tricky week.
I called it a day before doing a recce on another section. All I can say is that I'll be back one day soon to tackle the carp...
They'll have to wait though, as more rivers are planned for this weekend and barbel will be the main target. It's good to be back!