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As many will know June 16th is a momentous day for the freshwater angler in England. It is the day when our rivers open for fishing after a three month rest to allow fish to breed unhindered.

It has long been a tradition for freshwater anglers to make every effort to get out on the water to celebrate the Glorious 16th. This year the fishing Gods smiled on me and I was able to plan a days fishing.

We decided to head to East Anglia and fish the River Ouse. A wide deep section of the river where we knew we should be able to find some fish. After three trips fly fishing for pike I had set my heart on going back to basics and fish simple waggler float and maggot on a size 16 hook. There is a shelf about 15ft out where the depth drops off to about 10ft. My intention was to build up the swim with ground bait and loose fed maggots. This method has worked well before although it can take a little time to get the fish feeding.

As I left home it was a still day with a clear sky but as I travelled East the clouds rolled in and light rain was filling the air. Suddenly the 80 mile journey was feeling a long way.

Graham was with us with his Big Rig and I was looking forward to seeing it on the water.

After the customary chat and prediction we were down the slipway and onto the water.


I chose a swim I have fished before. Fishing just beyond a lily pad and over the shelf. I had my shot well away from the hook as although it hindered bite detection it stopped the maggot from sinking into the silk weed that covered the river bed. Groundbait was mixed and three big balls thrown in along with a hand full of maggots. I fished red maggot on the hook. At this stage the drizzle started and the wind began to howl making it cold and with a 6-8 inch ripple running bite detection was hampered even further.

I like to sit side saddle which was perfect for my swim as I had tethered to a derelict landing stage. In that wind wy feet were warm and my gads were cold due to the wind chill but as anglers we just get on with it.

It only took about 10 minutes and ….’Fish on!’

A little roach my first fish of the new season, always a special fish.

As the swim built up I had a steady flow of fish .

Another roach.



A beautiful bar of gold the Rudd

And bream.

A selection of these species came right throughout the day as did the rain and wind but nothing could dampen my joy of getting out fish and having a good few fish on the Glorious 16th.

One of those Good Days that we all cherish.