So here we are in another spell of British Summer Time – that is if you remembered to put your clock forward in the early hours of Sunday morning.

There’s always at least one timepiece somewhere around Hextol Towers I fail to alter, causing confusion for months ahead, and the clock in the car will probably remain on Greenwich Mean Time until it’s time to alter them all over again come the autumn.

Trying to alter the car clock is a real migraine inducer of bewildering complexity, involving the pressing of multiple buttons in the correct sequence, and I usually have to wait until one of the grandchildren comes calling to get it done properly

But the sad fact is, it’s only summer in name, for Mother Nature is sure to have a few more tricks up her sleeve, after lulling us into a false sense of security by arranging February with temperatures of 23C in the garden of Hextol Towers.

There is sure to be payback in the form of the Lambing Storm, that spell of dreadful weather spitefully timed to catch lambs when they are at their most vulnerable, for while they can stand the cold surprisingly well, they are at real risk when it is wet.

But the last week in March not only brings in the lighter nights, it also sees the start of the trout fishing season on our local rivers.

The trout season always used to start on March 22, and for many years, no matter what the weather, I would always go out on the North Tyne on the opening day, just for the sake of it.

These were pre-Kielder days, and the river would be teeming with fish, so hungry after a harsh winter they had not learned to distinguish a real fly from a frothy concoction of feathers and thread even on the end of one of my feeble attempts at casting.

Sometimes, the water would be so cold the reel would seize up completely, the line frozen solid, and it was necessary to leave the water at regular intervals to check the condition of one’s legs beneath the waders, in line with the time-honoured piscatorial adage: “If the legs are merely rubicund it is safe to continue fishing, but if they are black, leave the water at once and seek medical attention.”

I would catch fish on at least every other cast, but immediately put them all back as they were emaciated after living on their fat over the winter.

One of my oddest and most successful fishing experiences came well over 50 years ago – and I did not even had a rod and line with me!

My brother, father and self were out for a stroll in the gentle hills around Macclesfield, and our route took us past a large reservoir, jealously guarded by one of the local fishing syndicates,

A glance over the wall showed that all was not well with the resident trout, which were flapping miserably in great numbers in the shallows of the great lake, and endeavouring to beach themselves on the grass,

In a trice, my brother had taken off his shoes and socks, rolled up his trouser legs and plodged into the water, from which he was able to remove four plump trout in the blink of an eye.

We threaded them onto a length of baler twine which happened to be lying close by, and continued our walk, until a Land Rover roared up and stopped in a cloud of dust and gravel.

An irate man accused us of poaching, demanded to know the whereabouts of our fishing rods and was about to call the police, when my father explained what had happened,

“Poppycock,” sneered the colonel, as we had already dubbed him, at which point the pater said: “Go and get another, lad” despatching my brother over the wall.

Within seconds, he was back with another wriggling brown trout of impressive girth.

The colonel was agog, and was so taken aback that he allowed to keep one of the fish, which accompanied us on our walk to the top of Shutlingsloe, the lofty peak known as Matterhorn of Cheshire.

This is despite the fact that, at just 1,660 feet high, it is rather dwarfed by the real Matterhorn at 14,692 feet.

On the way home, we passed the reservoir again, and another distressed trout was put out of its misery – and they both made a lovely tea with chips and baked beans.