I have had a cold for the past week but have finally felt like doing some exercise. The weather has continued to be unseasonably warm and it occured to me that a long walk might make a change from going to the gym. Six miles later, in the very hot midday sun, I might have a different view of this.
So I went down through the village, over Harrowdown Hill to the bottom of the Pickfords stretch on the Thames, then along the Thames path to Chimney and back to Hinton up the farm track that Bernie the crayfisherman uses (and which I'd like to park my car on next winter). Three hares spotted in these fields.
With the fishing closed season now in force, it is rare for me to see the river in its spring glory. Many of my favourite chub swims have trees in blossom on them - quite a change from the bleak mid-winter or even the last week of the fishing season. By June, the river will be lush and green and very different to how it has been. I was also struck by the huge amounts of lilies that were coming through.
I'm not sure if I will fish the Thames in the summer. I might wait until late September / October when the boats have more or less stopped and the vegetation is dying back.
Chub lurk under the raft and by the near-bank reeds