On Thursday I fished a stretch of river that usually produces a few pike, 4 of us fished the stretch and I was initially confident that a few pike would be landed. My optimism was short lived as the river was rising, although the water was reasonably clear the rising water usually puts the pike off feeding.
The river rose around 2ft in the few hours we were on the bank and we all blanked, not even a take. The highlight of the session was seeing a buzzard in the nearby farmland and a heron on the water.
As a river angler I rely on the Environment Agency to update their website so I can keep an eye on the levels. Although the EA's website is ok, I find the River Levels site a lot better as it easier to read and provides some historical data which is a good reference. This is obliviously a massive help to anyone who chooses to fish the rivers but I think the EA could do better. Generally the levels for each station are updated twice in every 24 hours, they are updated more frequently during times of flood etc... but I feel they should be updated every hour.
All river level monitoring stations are automated, so I don't understand why the website isn't updated more frequently. If the levels were updated every hour or so it would make it so much easier for the angler to decide when to fish, where to fish and what species to target.
Generally I can predict what condition the river is going to be in and my time is rarely wasted, but occasionally I do get it wrong and turn up on the river take one look and know I'm going to blank, should of brought my chub gear or should of went to a still water.
Yesterday I called in on a stretch of my local river that I've never fished before, further upstream than I've ever fished. Its not a known pike area and although I would bet on the occasional pike turning up it is more of a barbel/chub stretch. It looks like a cracking stretch of river well worthy of a summer evening session or two.
The coming week
I hoping to get out at least twice next week, a short session locally and a full day session on a different river and on a stretch that I haven't visited before. I'll be going for the pike if conditions are ok, if not I'll try for some chub.