June the 16th – the start of another coarse fishing season. My ‘Tradition’ for the start of the coarse fishing season is to head to the Somerset Levels around Glastonbury and fish the river Brue. Stalking chub amongst the lily pads along the tranquil river is my idea of a perfect start to the season. The only problem this year happened to be the significant amount of rain we’d had in the week or two leading up to the 16th… Still, the start of the season just wouldn’t be right without at least getting out and making an effort. Given the amount of rain we’d had and the forecast (more rain), I wasn’t holding out much hope for having the kind of enjoyable session I’d been imagining over the last couple of months..
Arriving at the South Drain near Westhay to have a quick dabble in a new (new for me) stretch of water before moving onto the River Brue itself, I was gobsmacked to find the water pretty clear and perfect…. Perfect except for the amount of lily pads present across the whole surface as far as the eye could see. I guess this section of the South Drain must be pretty shallow to allow lily growth so abundantly. Given the blustery conditions I opted to leave the fly rod in the car and float fish. The only patch of clear water where I felt I could sensibly fish was right adjacent and practically under the bridge – so here started my 2019 river fishing season.
It wasn’t a surprise to start catching rudd straight away, especially as they could be seen feeding whilst I set up the rod. The rudd seemed plentiful if on the small side which provided suitable amusement for a while. After I’d failed to tempt anything more impressive I decided that as the water conditions on the South Drain were so good, maybe the Brue would be miraculously just as good. I hopped in the car and drove the few miles to my favourite section of the River Brue at Wallyers bridge, only to find the river much higher than usual, running fast and a forbidding murky brown. Things didn’t look promising!
I attempted to fish the usually shallow sections near the bridge before deciding it was unfishable and giving up that idea. A move further along to a deeper stretch at least provided less turbulent waters but not more action than before. I persevered through the intermittent rain showers and managed to tempt some chub, smaller than the rudd I’d been catching earlier, before losing a half way decent chub at the net.
Whilst it was very pleasant whiling away some time by the river during the occasional sunny spell, some days you just know you’re not going to have great success fish-wish, and today was definitely one of those days. At least on my drive home I could tell myself I’d tried. Anyway on a positive note – hopefully this years fishing can only improve?