Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Saturday 27 November 2021

The Tiny River Alne - Presbyopia and Predestinarianisms

Yes it's official I'm getting old, you see ones perfect 20/20 vision, is now, well, errr fubared, well ok maybe not that bad, but certainly a notable change, where over the last 18 months spending so much time working the CATIA software to an inch of its life, those long hours spent looking at a screen stuck at home, I'm sure haven't helped matters.

Now researchers estimate that nearly 2 billion people worldwide have presbyopia. Though presbyopia is a normal change in our eyes as we age, it often is a significant and emotional event because it's a sign of ageing that's impossible to ignore and difficult to hide, but then having grey hair in my early 20's has conditioned me to except that, I'm no spring chicken, after all. 

In parts of the world where there is no access to vision care, presbyopia is much more than an inconvenience its a leading cause of vision impairment that reduces people's quality of life and productivity. When you become presbyopic, you either have to hold your mobile phone and other objects and reading material (books, magazines, menus, labels, etc.) further away from your eyes to see them more clearly.
Unfortunately, when we move things further away from our eyes they get smaller in size, so this is only a temporary and partially successful solution to presbyopia. 

If you can still see close objects pretty well, presbyopia can cause headaches, eye strain and visual fatigue that makes reading and other near vision tasks less comfortable and more tiring. 

To be fair not a fat lot I could really do about it because presbyopia is an age-related process. It is a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside your eye. 

The changes occur within the proteins in the lens, making the lens harder and less elastic over time. Age-related changes also take place in the muscle fibres surrounding the lens. With less elasticity, it gets difficult for the eyes to focus on close objects.

Still with an eye test booked next week, reading glasses here we come so hopefully trying to thread a piece of line through a size 18 hook might be a little easier. 

Anyway back to the fishing a quick look at the weather forecast it looked cold, wet and even potentially some sleet or snow but I'd not managed to get out in the week and, well I just needed to get that much needed fishing fix, I'm not a fair weather angler after all you just need to be prepared for it. 

Now luckily for this short session down at the river Alne a larger hook was in order because a session here I can remember like it was yesterday that dace and chub were going mad for a lob worm presented on a rather large size 6. 

The bigger dace specifically were more than happy to take a larger bait so I'd replicate the same tactics employed last time, but also have some bread to use to mix the baits up a nadger. 

The Alne like many rivers I fish if it is clear it can be very tough fishing indeed, so any colour is welcome because often you're starring at a blank unless you've a lure rod with you. 

Something like a small Salmo Hornet can get those trout and chub moving when a worm or bread stuck in-front of their faces would be ignored. When winter hits though the fish are not moving as much so some days you are wondering whether there are actually fish in the river.

The trip to the river didn't start well as on-route I was welcomed by a police car that was parked broadside across the road. A tree a fallen literally blocking the whole road so the 3 mile journey turned in to another 3 on top having to take the long way round.

The sleet started almost as soon as I got the gear out the car and continued for the whole time I was bankside. It actually turned in to snow an hour in and it was starting to settle on the ground. The air temperature was 1 degree so not exactly pleasant, still after being stuck behind a computer screen it was like it and lump it. 

Now I don't think I've ever seen the Alne this clear around this time of the year and 2 swims in without even a tap alternating between bread and worm, I decided to go upstream to the banker swim to try and winkle out a chub.

The fish tend to hold up here because there is plenty of cover and also in the middle of the river has some decent depth too. I decided to fish this for at least half an hour and would sprinkle in a little bread and a few maggots to try and get the attention of some fish laying up.

Nada, nothing, zilch, not even the tiniest of taps, the smallest of pulls. The snow was picking up big time and ok it was predicted to stop in around an hour but to be honest I probably knew what the outcome would be if I stuck it out.

So I decided to end the session early and heading back to the car it had a nice covering of the white stuff and it had settled on the roads too. So where to go, what to do in the morning ? pike, chub or roach ? I'll decide over a Cuban rum, an open fire and my feet up, winter has arrived !!


  1. In those conditions Mick I can't say I am surprised, we need some rain and a decent cold snap to freshen everything up. Maybe next week you'll get another chance.

    1. Lets hope so James, certainly tough going at the minute

  2. I think you've just diagnosed my eye trouble Mick.
    Bad luck. Anyone who ventures out in that at least deserves a bullhead!

  3. I bet even maggots would have been ignored, not even the tiniest of nibbles


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