Saturday, 19 June 2021

The Tiny River Alne - Butt Sections and Beadheads

With a day of rain yesterday the handy River Alne can offer a few bites where other waters can be tough. Part of the appeal is the unknown and often changing quarry and before the season close I lost a decent trout (for a small river) and have been kicking myself ever since. I could fish a couple of small running waters close to me in March and April with dry fly if I really wanted to and if it wasn't for the canal Zander challenge I may well have taken up something different. 

After the lacklustre England performance the Alne can raise serotonin levels luckily. Warwickshire has plenty of small brooks that contain wild brownies and those local to me are not fish at all, why not ? don't ask me as I love fishing them, but maybe I'm the odd one out.

Now March a month of steely grey skies, sweeping rain, and freshly budding trees, ushers in the trout season; and by the time the hawthorns are in full bloom trout can often be seen rising to sip in flies and other insects. In the fastest of water, where the steely ripples cloak its movements, the trout may lie unseen, its presence unsuspected by many who come to seek it with fly, spinner, or worm.

The trout is possibly one of the easiest of fish to recognise. Its back is generally greenish-coloured, but may be a shade of brown, or even almost black. In the clearest of streams it is usually of a pale colour; but trout of the peat-stained mountain streams are usually much darker. All trout have characteristic gold or silver flanks, liberally dotted with red spots.

A small adipose fin, which is not found on coarse fish, makes identification easy. It is a lithe, swift-moving fish that takes bait or fly in a characteristically quick manner, so a keen eye and quick reactions are often needed to hook it. I've used a tenkara rod here in the past for some small'uns but the bigger ones haven't succumbed to the same method. Worms and crankbaits seem to work much better.  

During periods of low water, it often lies where the current is most turbulent. It is easily alarmed by heavy footfalls, or by shadows falling across the water, and once it has been scared it is rarely caught. 

The size attained by the trout of small rivers and streams varies considerably. In the barren mountain stream it is usually very small, but in the richer waters of the lowlands it may attain a weight of 51b or more. 

Trout of even greater weight are sometimes caught, but they are usually fish which have found their way into the stream from a large river or lake. In such waters trout weighing 20lb or more are occasionally caught. There are stories of huge fish on the Alne, roach, carp and trout to specimen levels. 

Now the methods used to catch trout are usually dictated by local regulations and preferences. Many anglers never fish for trout with anything but the artificial fly, and on some waters no other method is permitted and even fly-fishing may be restricted to dry-fly as distinct from the sunken-fly. 

On others, both fly-fishing and spinning are allowed, and there are also waters on which all legitimate methods are permitted. Each angler should acquaint himself with the rules which apply to the water he is fishing, and if the rules stipulate fly only, that rule must be strictly observed. It has not been made without reason, but to give the trout a fair chance of survival. Stocks may be limited, and if all methods were permitted irreversible damage might be done.

Anyway back to the fishing, simple tactics for this short session, half a worm tipped with a red maggot and some roving. I usually use a small Salmo Hornet crankbait in the early season but the rain had added a nice tinge of colour. To be honest bites were not exactly prolific but I caught a few chublets, some nice dace and the intended quarry a couple of brown trout.

They were of a similar size, I didn't weigh them but I'm sure a couple of pounds I'd imagine. On light tackle pound for pound probably a stronger fighter than a Chevin I'd say. With a small 500 reel and a light 8ft quiver rod fantastic sport, in-fact the second fish after taking me all over the river eventually surfaced and I was amazed for a relatively small fish just how hard it fought as I thought it was much bigger.

One swim which had a tree removed recently produced most of the bites and a large bait needed to be fished, as a couple of maggots were mullered by the minnows. The larger chub didn't show at all but that isn't unusual here. 

Winter this little river transforms and catch it right the fishing is incredible really for such a small waterway, bites can come thick and fast even when crudely fishing whole lobworms and large chunks of breadflake. As soon as the sun came out the bites dried up but a satisfying session especially as I have the river to myself. 


  1. Love fishing those little streams, you never know what can turn up.


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