Saturday, 21 November 2020

The Tiny River Alne - Scuffers and Scoptophobia

With 14 days of self-isolation thankfully ticked off, we came out the other side relatively unscathed after a positive COVID-19 test within the Newey household.  From fishing locally a few hours everyday in the October half term where our break to Wales was kyboshed due to the two week 'firebreak', ones angling pursuits in the last two weeks went to zilch, bugger all, you're having a laugh !!!!

Finally after the daily drudgery, where I cleaned the oven, (yes really) sorted some junk from the garage ready for a tip run and tidied the garden to an inch of its life, eventually I was allowed back to go fishing without fear of having ones collar being felt, a fine being waved in ones face. 

Thinking about it another big change was to move from my small office space downstairs , moved lock-stock upstairs and commandeered the kids play room. 

If I was going to be working from home for a good while, I at least needed to be as comfortable as I could be and with Captain America, the Hulk, Ironman and Thor watching over me and with our newly created anti-bodies, better times were on their way, heck I even bought a new office chair. 

Now Ben bless him having been back in to his routine again after half-term, hadn't a clue what the heck was going on when his transport turned up to take him to school and he wasn't getting on it. 

Still the Wife was a Godsend with the home schooling during the self-isolation and the working week, luckily went quick where I consumed as much electronic music as I could get away with and bashed the keyboard for the CAD machine and vigorously wiggled the mouse to try and catch that tail that has been chased since I started worked on this interesting EV project.

The escapism EDM offers me really is needed in these rubbish times and anything that kept ones mind in check needed to be grasped with both hands. 

The Wife coming good there too such the need to get any kind of comfort wherever I could, you see at least the lazy lie-ins were a bonus during the isolation, that was something I suppose, and the help from a couple of large squidgy things certainly helped me from straying off that winding track. 

Now talking of escapism, I treated myself to a copy of 'Somewhere Down the Crazy River' the book from Jeremy Wade and Paul Bootle about their fascinating journey in search of giant fish and their story of the rediscovery of the Indian Mahseer and then on to the Goliath Tigerfish of the Congo.

I've been keeping ones eye on a copy for a while but those that do come up for sale are usually a pretty penny but this one was priced very well indeed, so much so, it triggered ones trigger finger without hesitation.

Ok tell a lie, I set an eBay snipe up to do the bidding for me. I set myself a budget, and that budget was the winning bid luckily. It arrived a couple of days later and I've not put it down since.

To be honest looking at the price some of them can go for, especially the hardcover I've managed to get my hands on, I did surprisingly well me thinks. I think it helped that the auction ended at a stupid time which to the unaccustomed, is a no go if you want to get the best price for an item. 

I can only assume it was an oversight because the seller looked very much conversive in the auction house judging by the feedback he'd received before. A quick look on what's available now, I'm £50 quid up on the deal already. 

Still I wasn't complaining, it was a book I wanted to add to my collection for a while and came up at the right time when any kind of lift was required (lots of good rum 👌 ) just to get me through the isolation and confinement the best I could. 

We've had it easy to be honest, I dread to think the effect the lockdown(s) and all the related pandemic pandemonium has had on much of the population.

Anyway I'm bored of it all now, so for this session I could think of no better place to go fishing than the tiny River Alne post the enforced lockdown and the inevitable claustrophobic inducing and wellbeing battering, that being confided to ones abode and effectively four walls does to you. 

Now for me as a solitude seeker this diminutive stretch of river offers in abundance what I've been missing over the last two weeks, and I couldn't wait to be roving its banks again. It was the peace and quiet I missed the most and fishing gives me that in spades, it's a tonic us maggot danglers try and keep to ourselves as we don't want to share one the best kept secrets of our angling pursuits now do we.

When you fish, those thoughts at the back of your mind disappear, well they do for me anyway, you don't think about anything in a nutshell which is a welcome departure from these turbulent times. 

Now I've not used bait down the Alne for a while as I've really gotten in to this lure fishing malarkey, especially the use of small crankbaits. The trout and chub come out of nowhere and it's exciting fishing on the most part, and a by-product is the fact those daily step levels are brought back to where they were before. A more static approach I'll leave till in the week on the Avon, don't worry, I plan to fill ones boots. 

Because the waterway is so small here, 10 or 15 minutes maximum in each fishable swim is all that is needed and if nothing caught it's time to move on. When winter hits properly I might have a bait session because I'm sure there are so surprises to be had. 

It's hardly fished, in-fact I've only ever seen two anglers on the bank on the same day in the all the years I've been fishing it, I've effectively got the banks to myself, it really is a gem of a water, the fish may not be big, but who the heck cares this is utopia on my terms, I'm selfish I'm keeping it a secret. 

It was so nice to be back roving the banks again, the air fresh with that autumn bite. It didn't take long for the first bite either., as suspected a brown trout.  The water wasn't as clear as thought it would be so I was hoping for a chub or two as well, but oddly, nope it was a trout day.

The biggest a bright copper 2lber I'd imagine shed the hooks when it powered upstream and launched itself clear out the water a couple of times in a bid for freedom.


In the 3.5 hours I managed 7 or 8 trout, the biggest maybe a scraper 1lber. I spotted the otter a couple of times though so maybe the bigger fish were nervous in venturing out. Being locked away for two weeks ain't healthy, I felt like I was reborn again, more steps covered in one morning than a weeks worth in isolation. 

So glad to be back out again, long may it continue !!!!

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