There was a stage at the end of last year when I was starting to wonder whether we'd ever get the chance to get back on the rivers again before the March 14th deadline. Three lots of extreme floods brought the Severn over the banks with a peak in November of around twenty feet above normal level! Thankfully the cold dry weather around New Year helped to bring the levels down quickly and most rivers have been fishable again recently. The problem then though was water temperature.

The Severn looked really good with a nice green tinge once it had dropped back but anglers still faced disappointment as the temperature plummeted to just above freezing. Once the air temperatures went up however, I'm pleased to report I've had some good days pleasure fishing and some good results in some of the matches I've fished.

My first match winnings for 2001 came on the River Wye at Hereford on the Belmont stretch. I drew peg 93, a short distance above the main road bridge and I must admit I fancied it for a few roach and dace and maybe even the odd chub. What I hadn't accounted for was a massive pike presence!

All through the match I had pike attacking the fish I was bringing in and it was difficult to settle the fish down into any sort of regularity. I switched between an 8 no.4 lignum stick and a 3 gram alloy stem Avon float to take roach up to the twelve-ounce mark in a 13.13.0 total. This put me into second place behind Andy Burt who took a pound more than me from peg 57 on the other bank. Andy's catch comprised all dace taken on stick float and bolo tactics.

After the match I stayed on with a pike angler in my peg. First cast he had a seven pounder and ten minutes later a seventeen pounder took a liking to the lure. No wonder I'd struggled to put fish together!

Next week I'll tell you all about what's been happening on the Severn. I've had some superb roach fishing recently and managed a few wins along the way too. I'll also tell you more about the new Speci wagglers I developed last summer which have been catching me a lot of fish recently…