We’ve had a very mild autumn until now and it was only on Guy Fawkes night that the temperature here in the South West has really dropped to somewhere approaching what we’d usually expect for this time of year. Bonfire night in Devon was clear and cold, and the following morning was frosty and bitterly cold to match. I was awake early and down at the river Culm for around first light hoping to grab a couple of hours fly fishing for pike.
Trampling through the frosty fields to get to the river I was feeling really optimistic and hopeful. It only took two casts for that early enthusiasm to wane… The rod rings were iced up by the 2nd cast which meant stopping to break the ice build up off. Numb fingers also required warming before continuing casting. This cycle carried on for a while with me only able to get a couple of casts before needing to stop to de-ice the rod rings and warm my fingers.
The cold and a distinct lack of fishy activity quickly dampened my desire to be out in the countryside at this hour of the morning, and with the onset of numb toes I decided to head for the warmth of the car before the first hour had played out. Maybe it was the sudden temperature drop after such a long period of mild weather that had put the fish off feeding, or maybe I just didn’t put in the time – either way I didn’t feel bad to be heading for home early on this occasion. There’s always next time in any case.