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Keep it simple. Just a rod, a reel and some bread and worms for bait and a small measure of expectancy that hangs like your breath in the air.

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There is a strangely perverse pleasure to be had by spending a few hours on the riverbank in Winter. The coldness of the silt filled river seeps through thermal clothing and into your bones. All can seem desolate, almost lifeless. But look around and through that grey shroud that spans the landscape and there is much to enjoy. An old dog fox looking more bedraggled than me skulking along the hedgerow; hoping for a meagre morsel. Maybe he could smell my pasty. Sandpipers, both common and green, a snipe and having just checked in the Collins bird book, a rare sighting of a red throated diver.

There are a thousand excuses for an angler not to catch a fish; but not one for not being there.

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