It started with a traffic jam which delayed us from getting to the river much before noon. I half expected there to be no swims available and was pleasantly surprised that only one other car was in the car park. Ah, but that was on this side of the river. The far bank was littered with anglers and as the river is fairly narrow it meant that our potential fishing spots were far fewer then they had at first seemed. Still, it was a warm day.

At least, it was warm when we arrived. After we had been there for two hours an arctic wind swept in and I had to walk back to the car to get togged up. Pete had started out in a T-shirt, by 2pm he looked like the Michelin man.

My first cast that day was a cracker. The bait fell exactly where I wanted it and stayed there for, ooh, maybe three seconds. The river was running about a foot higher than normal and I had put too little lead on the rig. I watched as the current swept the line around, pulling the bait hard into the nearside bank, perfectly positioned under a raft of debris held in place by a trailing branch. It seemed that it was not such a bad mistake after all, putting on too little lead. If I had deliberately targeted that spot it would have been almost impossible to get a bait there but by an accident it had all fallen into place. I threw some bait in to where I hoped the current would feed the swim and set up the second, upstream rod.

The second rod received all the attention. This one I cast and recast, searching for a fish to no avail. The first rod I left under the raft, I had a premonition that things were as good as they were likely to get with the bait in that spot. I was right. A sharp tapping on the rod-tip heralded a chub bite but it stopped before I could strike. I hunched over the rod. Ten, fifteen minutes past and the old doubts started to arrive. Had I any bait left on the hook? The motionless rod tip wouldn't answer me. After twenty minutes I took the chance and picked up the rod. I was fast into something. Snagged? No! The rod heeled over and I was playing a fish, obviously a chub by the feel of it. I was right. It slipped into the net and I looked around for Pete to help with a photo. No Pete. Fortunately another angler in the next swim downstream helped with the photo and it weighed in at a hefty 5lb 4oz. Not my biggest this season but close to it. I wonder if the fish had snatched at the bait as I had begun to retrieve it or if it had been mouthing it all the while? I guess I'll never know.

And that was that - well as far as we were concerned it was, though Pete claimed that he didn't blank as he did catch a fish - a crayfish! I had to endure him pontificating about baits and rigs for crayfish all the way home.

One last high spot to the day was when another angler came down to ask me to photograph a fish he'd taken 'a good double' he said. Good was right! At 14lb 8ozs, it was a new Kennet record. Well done that man!

And now? Time to get the fly-rods out!