I have to confess November had me worried. Day after day of beautiful weather. Blue skies. Warm days. Gorgeous autumnal foliage that just went on and on. But, and this was the worry, not a drop of rain. And as November stretched into December, little seemed to be changing.
Rain is my obsession. From mid-October to mid-March I basically can't get enough of it. At Nether Wallop Mill the bedroom at the top of the mill building has a huge slate roof that resonates like a kettle drum when the downpours come. Some nights it so loud it wakes me up and when it does I smile and drift back to sleep safe in the knowledge that my chalkstreams are receiving their life enhancing moisture.
For these are not normal rivers; the water that flows through them has, as they say on the X Factor, been on a journey. The rain that splashes from the heavens tonight will not appear in the river for six months, in between seeping thousands of feet into the chalk layers beneath southern England to reappear at the surface maybe a hundred miles from where it originally fell as the purest, most perfect water for trout and the ecosystem around which the chalkstream valleys revolve. So when I see a dry November I worry not for today but for the summer to come.
I am sure that over the Christmas holidays you will look out the window and curse the vile, wet weather. The dog won't get that walk and nor, more importantly will you but at least be happy for me and the chalkstreams. The past few weeks have wiped out the deficit and every little bit from now on is the icing on the cake. Maybe I should believe in Santa Claus after all?
If you have read this far today, and my other Blogs and Newsletters in the past year, please may I offer a sincere and heartfelt thank you. There will be more to come in 2014 but for now, from us all at Fishing Breaks, have a truly wonderful Christmas