Captain Parker's book "This Fishing" published in 1948 is well worth a read and the chapter relating to water temperatures and fishing prospects was well ahead of its time, I will certainly be carrying a thermometer in future.
Unfortunately my arrival in Downton coincided with heavy rain which meant that apart from the Hampshire Avon the Wessex rivers were unfishable. The Hampshire Avon being a chalk stream holds its water better than most rivers and although bank high was still running clear.
I opted for a day after the dace on the London Angling Association stretch at Britford. Although the carriers are renowned for big roach the better dace are on the main river, so I headed for a favourite spot on the main river where big dace normally congregate prior to spawning. Although the water was tanking through there was a slacker area on the far bank that I could trot. After a couple of hours I realised that the dace were not at home and only managed a couple of chub in the two pound class.
The bulhead is an unusual capture on rod and line and is also known as the Millers Thumb, its flattened shape said to resemble the thumb of a miller splayed from testing flour.
The last couple of hours were reserved for roaching and I fancied a slow swim on a carrier just above another weirpool. A couple of handfuls of mashed bread were thrown in to prime the swim. I fished a piece of breadflake on a size 10 hook to an 18 inch hook-length below a cage feeder. I missed the first bite and had to wait until after dark for the quivertip to pull round again, unfortunately the culprit was not the expected big roach but a chub in the three pound class.
The river had risen a couple of inches in the last hour and with further rain overnight the Avon was in the fields the following day.