I've been struggling recently due to the very low river levels and last week was no exception. I had planned to go twice but after the first day I didn't bother going again, deciding I probably should start Christmas shopping, although I don't usually do that until Xmas Eve.
Anyway, on the day I went the river was the lowest I've ever seen it and crystal clear, so much so that I could see the bottom across most of the river and with it all of the snags and rubbish that was in there. I'll never understand the mentality of people who dump all manner of crap into beautiful places without conscience.
The day was tough with only 3 follows from unusually (for this stretch) small fish in the first 6 hours.. none of which looked like they were going to hit the lure. I made a move to another stretch that I've not fished this year which is generally a bit shallower, yet again hoping that the fish would be easier to locate in any deeper areas. That didn't really prove to be the case but after an hour a fish whacked the lure in shallow water. Unfortunately the strike met with nothing and all I got for my effort was a few extra slashes in the tail of my softbait. I carried on knowing that there were a few big slack areas towards the end of the stretch but, after the long trek, the river level meant that there was only a couple of feet of water in them. By now I'd pretty much resigned myself to a blank but I had a few chucks in each swim as I was there. I arrived in one of the very last swims which didn't look promising, very shallow with pacey water over a gravel bottom looking more like a typical trout swim, but on the second cast a fish hit the lure and I was finally rewarded with a pike.. not a big one at about 8lb but very welcome nonetheless.
This week has seen quite a rise in the water level but once the colour starts to drop out the fish should be well on the feed... I've just got to hit it right.