Friday, 22 June 2018

The Tiny River Alne – Redfins and Rigmaroles

There are hundreds of miles of waterways neglected by the average angler. You see he often seeks grand waters of reputation, and often those featured in the declining monthly’s, believing that only in these will he find the fish he wants. In the course of his travels and pursuits, he passes and disregards many streams and rivers which can provide fishing of a very high standard. You see I’m one of those small breed that gets extreme pleasure in fishing an overgrown disregarded widdle, those forgotten waters, and those small rivers with potential unknown.

For me crossing a field, peering over those high stingers, trying to spot fish in the shallowest of streams and the most overgrown of rivers, in waters I know nothing about, defines me as an angler and what I love about my fishing.

Targets obviously exist, a 5lb Chub for example or a 10lb canal Zander, but I get immense pleasure in with the minimum of tackle just finding out what’s tugging ones maggots in a small dirty ditch.

The rigmaroles of partaking in modern carp fishing for example, yeap poles apart, back to basics fishing, just how I like it….

What species thrive in this environment? What size do they attain? Its potential confined within the bounds of my gumption to exploit it as best I can. As new waters are explored, information is gathered of fish and environment, the character of the water becomes clearer , the swims are named of my own choice as small areas remind be of the moments of success and triumph.

I’m hoping to explore this small water and add to one’s growing list of specific areas and swims such as the ‘Tefal Head’, ‘Mick’s Bush’ the ‘Laryngeal Prominence’ ,the ‘Jörmungandr’

We’d crossed this bridge many a times before but it was only when we were looking at a house in the area that sadly had sold before we could view it, I got the Wife to stop the car. I spotted a sign nailed to a tree you see and I knew instantly what it was. Sure enough over the weekend when an email was responded to I’d signed up to a small syndicate water, a river that after exploring the whole length last weekend, I wondered why I’d not thought about trying to fish it before, the sign was just that a sign, I’m sure of it.

Are there gems to be had here….?

What species of fish can one expect to find in the streams which lace their way across the countryside? As David Carl Forbes had said in one of his books, predominantly, as one might expect, the fish will be roach, but unfortunately these will invariably be fish of small average size. 

I’d happened upon some information though, which, ok was from a number of years ago now, but the information shared from a witness of capture of a specimen, mentioned that he saw a couple of 2lb’ers been caught in the area.

Now last time, I probably over gunned it a little with the tackle, so for this session, I’d travel even lighter with a smaller landing net this time, also another change, the small 8ft wand rod in my armoury which is rated at 2lb-4lb with a ridiculously sensitive tip would replace the 1.2TC TFG River and Stream rod. Lobworms were ditched in favour of the humble maggot and then as the sun was going down, I’d switch to some breadflake. Just one small reccy highlighted some swims with potential and one in particular was singled out for the last swim to be fished.

Maggots you see take no prisoners, it’s just one of those baits that work for nearly all species of fish so apart from being an excellent bait to at least get a bite or two, you can find out exactly what species are lurking within the water. Once those species are mapped, then it’s a little easier to start to target the specimens with the humdrum by using specific baits and methods to try and single fish out. 

If you think the ickle wand rod will be tested with a big fish on the end, it won’t let me tell you, in-fact the bend it can be subjected to, is beyond ridiculous as well as the backbone it has, that may have to kick in, you can get as much pleasure catching a 8oz Dace like you can a 4lb Chub. Even a half decent carp could be subdued even on a light line, such the action of the rod.

So anyway, enough of the preamble back to the fishing….

I literally had a little under two hours something like that, the first swim which had around a foot of depth, gin clear and some pace produced minnows and not much else, in-fact they became an issue through the short session, far, far to many of them to he honest. I suppose that's why a big lobworm is a little more selective. Anyway I persevered and eventually had a few small trout that gave the 0.5oz tip a proper doing over, not the little taps and pulls the minnows were giving.

With not much time left I hot footed it to an area where I'd caught a Chub last time I was here and again, minnows were an issue until a little chublet was caught and then soon after a gudgeon or two succumbed to the maggot. Now in my rush to get out the house the bread roll I was going to use for bait was drier than a stupidly dry thing, in-fact it was unusable, rock hard in-fact. Probably better lobbing to knock someone out, rather than trying to get some flake out of it.

So I had to stick with maggot, with the sun going down and more minnows being caught, I called time to the session, wondering what could have been. To be honest I plan to wait now till the levels are up because I'm sure it will fish completely differently, at the moment it's ridiculously shallow in lots of areas which won't help the transition of fish. The colour won't help for roach either, so I need to wait till my prospects are higher. An enjoyable session again mind you, two patrolling barn owls and some jumping deer, it's just nice being out sometimes.

So on to the next session, tangle master Sam will be in attendance next time.


  1. That is a proper stretch of water, e excellent stuff. When I was a teenager I fished a stream like that in North Yorkshire, great fun and a huge variety of fish. Last time I was up there I had a look at it, de-wilded I'd call it and completely ruined in the name of 'improvement'. I think the expression is improving it worse. Look forward to more of these reports. Regards, John

  2. I’m sure a little bit on water on it will fish completely differently, my sort of water though, the peace and solitude is great even if the fishing isn’t. I’m hoping it will come good mind you, and no reason why it shouldn’t

  3. A little slice of heaven!


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