It is usually clear enough to find your Avon barbel by spotting, but the water remains stubbornly murky, enabling spotting to be feasible in only the shallower swims, whereas in normal years we can see them in eight feet of water.

The weed is growing slowly, and I guess it takes the nutrient out of the water that is causing the bloom of algae/diatoms that is staining the normally crystal-clear summer Avon.

Found a shoal of barbel in some shallow, weedy water, and a whole bunch of greedy chub, but it took a second session in the swim before they responded to the bait and came onto the feed properly. High water temperatures may not have helped, but eventually they got their heads down and I had a bag of five barbel, all six and seven pounders, and seven chub, two of them over six. All fought well, and were fin-perfect, and there were a couple of big barbel lurking about that will have to wait until next time.

If you take time to look at your fish, you will see all the colour variations and slight abnormalities that are quite normal. The chub had very bright, orangey-yellow fins, it seemed, and some of the barbel had one or two orange spots on the belly that are apparently caused by a tiny skin parasite. All fish will carry a range of parasites, both internally and externally, and these are quite harmless unless weakness and disease or environmental conditions favour a boom in parasite numbers.