A time of change is upon us – Dipper defines 12 weeks in the anglers year

The trees are all starting to show fresh buds

By the start of April Mother Nature is doing her utmost to start decorating the land in preparation for summer, the now (hopefully) clear streams have gently swaying beds of ranunculi, rhythmically moving from side to side, shimmering along their length.

A time of change is upon us, in many ways in fact, and this also includes anglers, for when mid March arrives and the hurried last trips to the river before the seasons end have past, it is a period of roughly twelve weeks until the glorious sixteenth of June when our fish of the  coarse variety can once again be angled for.

And while legally one can still fish some still water’s and canals during this time of rest, (and I have dabbled in the past), this year I shall not only fully embrace these weeks but welcome them gladly, for plans are afoot, but more on these another time.

This piscatorial limbo is spent by many fettling tackle, walking the dog or even gardening, and while these activities may be enough to pacify some I really need to spend time beside water, and it just so happens that spring on a little trout stream is a beautiful place to be.

A transparent avenue of moving water

In my area of the country the season for trout fishing starts on the first day of April, and in days following the close of the coarse season rivers and streams can sometimes (if we are lucky) turn from the often dull heavy brown/grey flows of a long winter, to crystal clear transparent avenue’s of moving hope and optimism for the coming year, uplifting, optimistic and perfect for presenting flies to wild brown trout. 

Quite some years ago I was completely besotted with fly fishing, favouring the sometimes gentle art over fishing with bait completely. I’m sure that initially the mobile aspect of fishing flies was what attracted me, but once I’d got my teeth into the the cunning techniques used to manipulate these little creations of fluff and fur I realised how effective this imitative style of angling could be, for why would a fish pass up a meal that it sees and eats every day?

This goes for all fish, not just our spotty salmonids. In fact in my single mindedness I used my flies to tempt finned wonders from river, lake and even the sea on occasion, but always came back to the sharp, sparkling, intimate little streams where it all started for me. 

A dreamlike trout stream

After a dull and dreary winter a spring day spent wandering along a trout stream can feel much like a dream, or perhaps one of the images that flashes across your mind as you wake up but have not yet opened your eyes, Such a polarising experience when compared to the sometimes bleak countryside that can exist at the start of a new year.

Wild garlic fringes the water

By the start of April Mother Nature is doing her utmost to start decorating the land in preparation for summer, the now (hopefully) clear streams have gently swaying beds of ranunculi, rhythmically moving from side to side, shimmering along their length. Wild garlic fringes the water, some now complete with the pretty little white flowers, and celandine punctuates with a burst of yellow in amongst the strengthening greens.

The trees overhead are all showing fresh buds despite the birds doing their best to steal them, busily working along this glowing corridor of life the little feathered scamps sing their hearts out, skipping merrily from bough to branch enjoying the change in season as much as I do, and who knows, I may even stumble across a trout to cast to, although it’s not essential. 

Yes things are changing, some would argue that many things that affect our lives are not changing in a positive way, and many would be right. It is however very difficult not to feel hopeful when beside a trout stream bathed in spring sunlight, mother nature quietly improving its world with positivity and expectation, perhaps we need to be a little more like her, let the biggest change of all come from within, I’m game if you are?

Writing & Images Dipper, Gloucestershire – April 2022