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Annan Salmon School - Day 3

Fish running hard

The vagaries of British weather - and luck in beat position - come to the fore today and show how rain can affect a river (or not). The heavy rain of last night (as forecast) has brought localised flooding to Cumbria, just south of our location. However, the radar weather map shows that Lockerbie was just on the edge of the rain. Further north, where the bulk of the Annan catchment lies, experienced lighter falls of rain. So, when we get to the gauge at 9am we are expecting a big, and possibly a rising river. But no, it is at 4 ft 1in - very much the normal flow for the week - the colour is still good, and our sticks planted at the river's edge show that it is falling all day.

In fact, by 5pm it has fallen seven inches.

Later, we learn that at Hoddom, just a few miles down stream a fishing party is still kicking its heels, as the river is too coloured to fish. This is caused by the Milk - a tributary which enters the Annan just downstream of Lockerbie which tends to run red after heavy rain.

Not all good news, however, as we don't record any catches today, either at Kirkwood or Jardine Hall. We do see fish jumping, but although many of them look silver and fresh-run, they appear to be running hard.

The Jardine Hall is not completely blank. Anthony Steel records a pheasant retrieved from the river by his dog, Roo, from a shoot in the woods, close to the Annan.

Casting is the name of the game at Kirkwood, where all six participants are now flicking out lines like poetry. Apart from the occasional thistle on the river bank which rudely interrupts the flow.

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