West and Fens Fishing: Icy conditions will have big effect on this season

Now what – even if the snow's gone by the time the weekend comes, three guesses where it's going to end up. D'uh – in the rivers and drains..?

Snow melt doesn't just bring colour and extra water, it's also cold. Another ingredient is rock salt dissolved off the roads – as in the thousands of tonnes of the stuff they spread to stop them freezing.

While anglers have struggled in recent weeks, there were hopeful signs of a few silver fish and bream starting to feed until the cold snap descended.

Perhaps it will finally get the weather on track and see it return to some kind of semblance of normal – which can only be good for the fishing.

Snow melt and flood used to be followed by a period when everything fined down, the days got longer and warmer and it was pleasant to be out for a few weeks again until the end of the season.

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Still waters can be our salvation when the rivers are up and down and out of sorts. In an area criss-crossed with rivers and drains of all shapes and sizes, it's easy to forget the pits along some of our river valleys.

Nowhere's as easy as it used to be right now, but at least you can blank in comfort, without being up to your ankles in mud, with floating debris taking your lines out or crabs eating your deads off the hooks.

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Having said this, I took an old mate out who'd never been pike fishing and told him I'd nearly always caught one twitching the bait along the margins, past a certain tree.

He tried it and he had one – which only had to be bigger than anything I've had all season as an extra bonus.

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