IT'S that time again, I get to write a few words about fishing, which I am delighted to do, as I hope to encourage young or old to give it a go.

It was a beautiful spring day today, warm and windless; not ideal for fishing, but great to get out in the fresh air.

So off I trotted to a lovely lake which is stocked with rainbow trout that offer the opportunity for some great fishing, likely to put an early season bend in my fishing rod as they put up a hearty resistance which always sets my heart racing.

I arrived at the site only to be greeted by the manic laughter of several Canada Geese; they really do make a sound like laughter, a real cackle.

What a joy... that is until they start to fight for the attention of lady in the gang, then the cackle turns to a crazy screeching cacophony.

I set up my fishing gear and proceeded to search out the trout, when my attention was caught by the sudden surfacing of a Little Grebe, or Dabchick.

These pretty little birds are becoming rare, as they easily fall prey to mink, which will kill anything they can just for the fun of it.

I wish the little Dabchick well and hope it survives to see the breeding season out.

Then, drawn to splashing in the water below an adjacent bush, I spotted a threesome of Coots who were busy arguing, which was having little effect on the regular rise of a couple trout feeding on the insects falling from the branched above only a foot or two to their side.

I tried to cast my fly near to these feeding fish, but the angle was wrong so the cast fell well short.

So my next cast was out towards the centre of the lake, after which I began a very slow retrieval of my fly: a pattern designed to imitate a soon to be fly rising from the lake bed, after a year of so developing, where it will shed its sub aquatic coat before transforming to a fly, ready to dance in the air above the water to seek out a mate.

One of the several More Hen paddling the water, spotted my line floating on the surface and change direction to avoid it.

It was then that my first pull of the day occurred as one of the beautiful trout snapped hungrily at my fly, pulled my line tight and made a mad dash away towards the centre of the lake.

There then followed an exciting few minutes as we, the fish and I struggled for supremacy before I had him to my net, admired the beauty of my catch, a bar of silver and scarlet, carefully removed the hook and returned it gently to the water.

You have to experience the excitement to appreciate it.

My casting was halted for a while as a pair of swans drifted slowly past, regularly dunking their heads and slender necks below the surface as they harvested the weed from the lake bed: such graceful birds. Waiting for these birds to pass, may attention was attracted to the drilling of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker and it drummed on the trunk of a nearby tree, in a manic effort to attract a mate.

Now I have no pretention to be a bird spotter, or know much about our feathered friends, but it’s impossible not to learn a little of these birds from the comments of fellow anglers, with greater knowledge of such things as I.

Oh yes, I also saw a few Mallards, a Heron and surprisingly a Red Kite, so you see there really is more to fishing than catching fish - you develop a love of nature and a connection with the environment upon which we all depend.

Call at your local fishing tackle dealer, seek some advice and venture forth... it’s fun and educational.