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January has passed by in the blink of an eye. The rods only twice graced the water and only once did the line tighten and that was for young Tales during a foray to the River Itchen just after New Year.

As the winds blow and the rain continued throughout the month the rivers ran the colour of the proverbial builders tea, the river banks were awash with water and its speed too fast for trotting for silver fish. It has been a poor month for river fishing.

The latest copy of Fallon’s Angler has yet to hit the doormat so we still wait in anticipation for its arrival and the recent copy of Trout & Salmon still rests in it plastic wrapper. Something tells me that either time has not been in our side or that young Tales focus has moved on, the words ‘can we go fishing’ have been seldom spoken this side of Christmas. This time last year we had spent a Saturday at the Lower Itchen Fishery, braved the chill winds on Brighton Marina wall, fished Syon Park Fishery and had a couple of trips to the Thames at Sunbury. Is this absence a reflection of my own lack of enthusiasm or just that windy wet days keep us away from the water. Certainly the rivers aren’t fishing well, not unless you fish the bottom with a feeder and that may be the option for this weekend. With the wind set to blow most of the weekend fly fishing for Grayling will be a tough task and one where any back cast will probably connect with the hedge or worst still in your back as you cast out.

For the first time young Tales showed interest in the local fishery in Barnes close to the Wetland Centre. A well kept lake surrounded by trees and in his mind a better option than the lengthy drive to overflowing rivers. This is a Members water so we will investigate the option on getting him a Junior Membership, certainly an option if it keeps the enthusiasm but I know not quite where his ‘purist’ beliefs are of the wilds of the river in order to watch a fly or float work the currents.

One thing we have noticed is how advanced the plants are in the hedgerows, even the daffodils are out a month earlier than last year, the Blackthorn who’s fruit in Autumn is the sloe berry is in flower along the towpath, nettles are showing fresh growth and even in a sheltered spot the blackberry has over-wintered and is flower, most bizarre.

I sense this year will pass all too quickly, they just do as you get older, like watching clouds rushing by they are gone in a flash so you need to make the most of the time you have.