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Slowly the blossom is starting to open up on the tree beyond the sitting room, to watch the seasons come and go as buds form, flowers unfurl, leaves flourish in the summer sun only to turn amber, red and then fall to the graphite grey pavement and that indicates the passing of another year. Now it is the time for the white blossom to form like clouds of shimmering light, the bees will soon swarm around on warm days so many of them that there is a constant hum during daylight hours.

The cold days of March are now behind us and as April heralds in the start of the river trout season it is time to plan a few days out with young Tales. Fishing so far this year has been put on hold because of the state of the rivers, running fast, high and heavily coloured it gave us little chance to fish. We’re not really into managed lakes preferring to chance our luck on meandering rivers however in February we did venture to a small fishery just off the A31 which proved to change our views on such places that when the weather warms up and the coarse season starts again we will return to watch the hot orange paint of the tip of a cork float dip beneath the indego coloured water.

With boxes of game fishing tackle stored in the loft it is now time to get them out, dust off them off and compile sets of tackle for fishing the rivers of Hampshire, Wiltshire and the trickling streams of the West Country. There are Wheatley boxes of nymphs, emergers,  drys, wets and the classic Mayfly. Hardy reels with double taper dry lines, sink tips and intermediates – every option is covered with an abundance of spare spools in order to change the presentation quickly. Light tackle to heavier rods and reels for Sea-Trout fishing later in the year…yes, there us a lot of ‘stuff’ as Mrs Tales would point out.

For me April is still too early to fish, the bankside vegetation is only just starting to grow, Robins still till the soil for earthworms and grubs and the temperature of the water still too cold for fish to start to feed properly. Those of you that head to the rivers will now doubt find it hard going. The lack of camouflage from the bankside vegitation means that fish are easily spooked with only juvenile fish eager to take the fly more out of their inquisitive nature to chase a moving object, the larger fish are no ‘April Fools’ being tempted by larger patterns they simply tuck themselves close to the bank occasionally moving into mid stream to check out the odd dislodged snail or displaced matter.

This month is about planning and preparation, putting the time in now will pay dividends in the months to come. Depending on the enthusiasm of young Tales to venture out fishing we could find ourselves out before the end of the month however I sense it will be May for that first trip to the river.