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It might sound a bit dramatic, after all fishing has only been put on hold during “lockdown”, it hasn’t gone!!!! Lockdown has made a lot of people think about what is important in life and re-evaluate things.

For me it has just emphasised the benefits you get from a day’s fishing. Stress relief. We all have those days occasionally when things get on top of us – stress at home, at work; it’s like these things fall off as you slip into your waders, set up the rod and head off in the direction of the sound of running water.

Peace, quiet, nature, contemplation. It’s all there and more on a day’s fishing. I recall a day last season there was a trout rising on the far bank. I crept into the river downstream and cast a fly just perfect to it. Nothing. It rose to another fly as I was about to cast, it just kept ignoring my fly. So, I changed fly sure this one would work and, sure enough, next cast it came up off the bottom and sipped my fly. The water erupted as it splashed about for a minute.

Then nothing.

It had slipped the hook; 1-0 to the fish. I retreated to the bank, I’ve stopped smoking but I like my coffee. I was sat on a rock at the side of the river enjoying a coffee thinking what I should have done better when I hear rustling in the trees on the other side of the river. I look over to see a deer grazing away, it looks over at me and then carries on.

I have been using my daily exercise time to walk the banks of the river, seeing the trout rise, the heron and the kingfishers all going about their daily lives as normal. I look forward to the time when I’m allowed to return to the river with a rod in hand. If, like me, you need to shake off some stress, try a day on the river. I’m sure it’ll work wonders.

A blog submission by David Meek.