You ask what for me is the almost impossible question, for me at least, as my fishing tactics are decided at the riverbank and are dependent on so many factors, oh! Well here goes my effort, please just don’t forget this is just my personal opinion and based on my local Suffolk Stour or other rivers local to me. Perhaps consider it as an idea or a starting point and modify it to suit your fishing style, your local river and all the prevailing conditions.
This is very hard as so much of what I do is based on so many things which I cannot know until I actually get to the riverbank. Flow, Light, Wind, Speed of the clouds in the sky, Time of the day - Surface look i.e. oily - rubbish floating past - very rippled surface - smooth surface - Upstream wind - obviously downstream wind - crossing wind - naturally the strength of the wind - Warm or cool day - Was there a frost last night - will there be a frost tonight – Is there any wild food about – are any berries dropping into the water -
So I don't know if this will work for anyone else, although it works for me and is a fair basis as a starting point. I will assume that everyone reading this knows the basics of angling like depth checking and so forth.
For this time of the year for my local Suffolk Stour, generally not a river known for its fast flow or glowing praises, I fish very light 3/4 to 1lb bs main line in really fast water I might go any size up to 3lb bs, hooks barbless bronze 18, 20, 22, 24 I usually start with a 20 and see how it feels. Starting with single white maggot shop bought does o.k. or perhaps some (that have been fed on raw pigeon with a second batch fed on wild rabbit - occasionally some fed on chicken) I have known some people just toss a lump or piece of chicken or fish into a box or tin of maggots all on an 18" (46cms) tail although I will reduce or lengthen the tail if I feel the need. Most of my shot is either side of the float which I dot down as much as possible. With a good flow going I might spread out my shot more. Sometimes I will use dust shot even getting within about 4" from the hook as this gives a very clear and definite indication of a take or bite. Equally sometimes I only have dust shot between hook and float.
Some may prefer bread which I do use at times. I have a few somewhat unusual bait recipes that I will not go into as there so I have learned a lot of squeamish anglers out there. When I have mentioned the less common baits I use I have been hit with quite a bit of offensive reaction so most of my mixes will remain a personal thing for me.
Some swims I begin feeding with loose feed as soon as I arrive at them, only on very seldom occasions do I use groundbait and on those occasions I only use pea sized balls up to marble sized never needing to go as large as a ping pong or golf ball size.