Friday, 22 January 2021

The Tiny River Alne - Exaggerators and Eleutheromania

Now I've taken Sam fishing with me since he was 4 years old. 5 years later his passion shows itself from time to time and he often recalls some of those memorable sessions we have had, and those shared experiences bankside.

The roach bream hybrid he caught at Center Parcs that is still bigger than anything I've caught, the bullhead bridge swim where a group of bullheads were literally jumping out the water to get to the maggots, oh and the time we fished a bleak livebait that was snaffled up by a perch and then a pike broadsided the perch and all 3 were landed. 

He's certainly got a much better memory than me for sure, why do you think I keep this blog of mine (nearly 1000 posts now), it's because I do like to look back over my sessions from time to time, it's a pictorial diary I suppose. 

I didn't think I would keep it as regularly updated as I do, but to be honest, I'm in to a habit with it now, so it's not as hard as I thought it would be.

When I first started taking Sam it was often frustrating at times, the biteless boredom getting to him, tangle after tangle after tangle and that lost fish because of his heavy-handedness. Now though it's more of a relaxed affair, we never fish with two rods, only one and the sessions are short, a couple of hours max. It helps he can now fish independently well apart from un-hooking those 'slimy' fish 

Even those biteless sessions are not an issue because he enjoys the outdoors and wildlife as much as I do. We've thankfully not visited a commercial fishery in pursuit of fish, because not only are they not for me, but they would give him false hope on how relatively easy is it to catch fish. 

Now talking about relatively easy to catch fish I bumped in to a matchman here last weekend and he recounted some of the session he's had on the Alne and also the River Severn where he rents a stretch, huge carp, a handful of 2lb roach among a huge netful of roach and even Barbel on the Alne over the years.

However it was the talk of 27 Barbel in 2.5 hours on the Severn got ones eyebrows raised, such the biomass of the river apparently. "Spod a load of bait in, leave for a day and they will be queuing up "

Luckily there is nowhere to hide with this blog of mine, what you see is what you get. What is does show is that rivers up in this neck of the woods are not easy. But then why would you want fishing easy ? well unless you hand over your coffers to Tunnel Barn on a regular basis.

For this session before we got fishing and to get him out from under his home schooling mothers hair to watch the Crown, I wanted to get the deeper sonar out in one particular area, yes really, because the matchman said one particular swim was 18 foot deep 😮. 

Now I knew this swim was deep in places, but 18 foot ? extraction for the railway that once went through here ? only one way to find out, could this be an area where a specimen of some kind is holding up ?

Apart from that, the plan was to try and find a slack away from the turbulent water because the river had been over it's bank again after Storm Christoph had been and gone.  

The Alne unlike the Avon drops like a stone though, in 24 hours in can be drop from covering the roads to being well within the banks again. Simple tactics a light quiver with sensitive tip and red maggots,2 hours we were done and dusted.

The river was chocolate brown as expected and I hot footed it to the swim with the deeper whilst Sam wanted to play around in puddles and breaking the ice with his wellies and picking up as big a piece of sheet ice he could. 

Not only that but he was so slow eating his lunch the Wife packed it up in his lunchbox and sent him on his way, otherwise we'd never had gotten out.

The deeper showed the slack water over the far side of this swim just off some cover was indeed deep for a small river, this section being 2 or 3 times the width of the river upstream though.

There were fish there too, the problem was I couldn't get a bait to settle there because the main river was still bombing through and despite changing a link ledger to a small bomb it wouldn't hold bottom.

So downstream it was where I knew we could easily get a bait to settle and settle it did. What didn't settle though was little Sam, because unbeknown to me he had got his water in his wellies because of his puddle chucking and his thick socks were ringing wet.

To be fair his verbal diarrhea slowed up somewhat, I should have known something was wrong. 

"Daddy was does frostbite feel like because I think I have it"

Sadly after revealing his predicament we really didn't have much choice really we had to cut the session short, so after a long drawn out hour with Sam trying to grin and bear and me trying some diversionary tactics we decided to go. To be fair we all we had to show for it was a sucked maggot and a couple of proper rattles on the quiver tip the, the fish were not exactly crawling up the line.

I didn't want to go back home though as the Wife was having some well earned peace so we took a detour so I could have a look at another stretch of the Alne which looks promising. 

De-socked Sam on the other hand was enjoying the warmth of the Jimny's heater with the blowers fan cranked up to max and the all the air directed on to his tootsies.


  1. Hello Mick. Is that the deep swim in the pic with the boat? I know where that is. Would never guess it could be so deep!

    1. Nope much further upstream Chris, quite easy to find as it's always slack water whatever the river seems to be doing.

  2. Hello Mick. Is that the deep swim in the pic with the boat? I know where that is. Would never guess it could be so deep!

  3. I make 27 barbel in two and half hours a fish every five and half minutes. Perfectly feasible if you reduce the playing time by using a rod made from an old tank ariel, and tackle up with piano wire and a banana hook and have an assistant on hand to rest and return each fish.
    Or it could be you met Dr. Elevenerife the inventor of the famous 'Itmusthavebeen' Scale which is widely used in fishing. You can usually tell if it was Dr. Elevenerife because if you've been to Tenerife he's been to ...


    1. To be fair Clive, he was a nice enough chap, but yes once the stories got a little more elaborate it was time to make hast and make my excuses. The chairman of the club got back to me on the roach and nothing bit has come out for a good while, maybe he was talking in times gone by.

  4. Fair comment Mick, a lot of the followers of the 'Itmusthavebeen' Scale are good company. In reality most anglers are decent company despite my preference for skulking about on my own!



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