Monday, 4 January 2021

The Tiny River Alne - Battlements and Bibliognosts

Beyond the bridge of death the swims are much deeper, the problem is to negotiate the beam of battlement in fair conditions can be tricky in itself, let alone a landing net in one hand, a rod in the other and the fact the mercury that wasn't quite budging above freezing. 

Ever seen a flamingo chicks first walk ? 

Apart from that hazard to add to the mix, the Alne had been over it's banks for a good couple of days prior to this short morning session, so even the pegs upstream of the deeper section were fishable, however you had to trudge through sheet ice and whatever was hiding under it.

Still, I had chub to catch, and it was just a mere hurdle to get over to be able to get fishing.

The river had dropped considerably when I was here last, and not only that the colour had changed completely too. It had gone from weak tea to a light green tinge which I know from experience is ideal for Chub.

The problem was I know this stretch quite intimately now, swims to drop in the huge chunks of breadflake would be limited.

Now bread when the water is Pantone PMS 359 really is the perfect bait if you want to catch chub, with only a couple or three inches of visibility the white bread shows up brilliantly to the cautious chub that will just above brave venturing out when the turbidity is like this. 

I pinch on a good match box size with some of it pinched tightly on the shank. Dunk it in the drink and then give it a squeeze to remove the excess water it will then sink gracefully through the water column and lie enticingly on the bottom. 

It was clear though that I was wasting my time in these shallower swims, even on a raft swim where I caught a fish last time after twenty minutes of a quiverless quiver I knew I was wasting my time.

Rivers this small, any Chub in the swim will tend to take it in less than ten minutes hence roving is the key.

So after crossing fingers and toes I tentatively made it over the bridge and settled down in to the first swim which judging by the line entering the water almost vertically a short distance out, it was 4 or 5 foot deep.

Sure enough after tightening down to the link ledger a huge drop back bite the first fish was on. I thought it was a trout as first the way it was making a mess of the swim, but no, it was a pristine Alne Chevin. 

The action didn't stop there either, I had another 3 within the space of an hour or so.

Ok there are not the biggest fish admittedly but when I've quality fish like this to be caught on ones doorstep, who am I to complain.

The Avon can be off day after day sometimes but here, providing you give it 24 hours after the waters is within the banks again, most days you will catch fish, even in the summer.

So with something like 10 mornings fished during the extended Xmas break it's now back to the daily grind now so I will have to try and snatch a session here and there.

However with the almost daily family walks I've averaged 13k steps a day, in-fact one day was >20k steps, so winter is great for the roving angler where many don't see the light of day sometimes. I'll get out in the week for sure, might be an in to dusk and beyond Chub session at the syndicate stretch, tight lines to those getting out fishing.

Talking about syndicates, Arthur's Basket by fellow syndicate member George Burton, is worth a peruse when you get 5. With a few rich teas and nice hot cuppa, it's a wonderful read, if only modern angling magazines were like the ones of old, they might be worth buying.


  1. Mick, That's a great post. I'm still trying to work out if I can fish and Georges blog is a treat. I've even bought a basket with my Christmas cash. Stay safe, John

    1. Should know today John fingers crossed, but it will be what it will be. Doesn't look good out there at the minute does it.

  2. Thanks for the plug Mick, much appreciated!
    I was expecting a colour ref with PMS in the middle to be yellow tbh.


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