The first excursion to fish the drain in 2017 and I'm not feeling optimistic at all mainly because of all the unsettled weather we've had during the last week. Rain, gloom, fog, cold, frost, thick ice and to top it all the pumps have been running at the far end of the system removing excess water and the already 'shallow' water in the drain is around eight inches lower than normal.
I stand talking to the farmer for ten minutes after I have unpacked the car and he says that he has not seen a single pike moving anywhere on his stretch of water today. I can feel my initial optimism draining away, quite appropriate really.
While I walk to my swim there are tiny flurries of small silver fish breaking the water in the marginal reeds and a couple of feet out into the drain but no big swirls. Have the bigger perch finally returned? I decide to scale the tackle down and spend fifteen minutes catching some small roach and rudd from the margins, fish that are a maximum of three inches long and perfect for use as perch baits.
After three quarters of an hour of watching a stationary float the first fidgety, bobbing, fussing around bite that is almost a run starts and a lovely perch of a pound plus comes to the net and before the two hour session is over two more bigger perch are landed. The last fish an absolute streamlined beauty of a perch that is a little over fourteen inches long and a good six inches in the shoulder.
After packing the gear away in near darkness I stand and watch a Barn Owl hunting backwards and forwards along the opposite bank like a creamy white ghost and then with the car packed and the owl disappearing over the fen it's time to go home.
Never mind it seems the boys are back in town, roll on Wednesday's session.