During the closed season (during which, confusingly and arguably pointlessly, fishing stops for three months on the rivers but not on canals, lakes and other stillwaters) I had been eyeing up a new stretch of the River Leam.
Running from Marton down to Eathorpe, and controlled by the Coventry Godiva Angling Club, it offers the one thing I've been looking for for a while - a lengthy stretch of chub-by water: not much more than a stream in places, widening and deepening on the bends and with plenty of fishable swims.
So with June 16th (first day of the new river season) falling on a Sunday, I set off armed with a couple of pints of maggots, a loaf of bread, some worms and a new Godiva book.
The funny thing is that I wasn't expecting for a moment to catch anything.
First day fishing is notoriously difficult, the rivers often slow and low (despite the seemingly endless crap weather of late). In addition, the excess of Saturday night had made a properly early start all but impossible, and I didn't get to the river until after 8am - way too late to make the best of these less-than-perfect conditions.
All I really wanted to do was walk the stretch, wet a line, and check a few swims for flow and depth. And I had the most wonderful morning doing just that. The river was everything I had hoped - all buttercup meadows, skylarks and seclusion.
I ran a stick through a few dozen times, the few knocks and taps I got finally revealing themselves as the work of minnows. Then I sat down on a big shaded bend to savor the location, nurse my headache over some coffee, and miss a massive wrap round bite on a free-lined worm :-(
It went round again as I started to pack up, and this time a furious little perch came to the bank. This, and my single trotted minnow, saved me from the 'blank' while still leaving me plenty to work up from as the season rolls on. As luck would have it, I get the feeling that a good dose of rain probably isn't too far away...!