The first drain we tried didn't look too bad, but half an hour sloshing through the mud was enough.
We tried a little land drain I haven't fished for years. Better still, it didn't look like anyone else had fished it, judging by the pristine banks.
When the farmer turned up, I thought for a moment he was going to turf us off.
"Don't see many people fishing these days," he said. "Mind you there was a big fish kill two summers ago, think that might have did for 'em..."
Down the road we trog to yet another drain. Ten minutes later, along comes the club chairman.
"You won't catch anything here Chris," he said. "Mind you, I hear you've not been catching much anywhere lately."
This turned out to be an accurate prognosis, with just one missed hit on a jerkbait and a tiny jack that swirled at a Shad Rap all we had to show for an afternoon.
I apologise to Hawkeye for some reason when we get back to the car. Hawkeye's having none of it, he's really enjoyed having a go with lures.