Wednesday, 30 December 2020

The Tiny River Alne - Brook Bashers and Beard Splitters

A proper hard frost overnight greeted me when I open the gate at this diminutive waterway. I love it down here because, well I hardly see a soul and you know me, solitude is something I need to seek to keep me headed in the right direction and this place provides that in spades. 

A fox even seemed confident enough to walk over the field towards me till he discovered I was there and bolted off upstream. It sees little footfall and anglers, well, I'm one of them, I'm not sure where the others are.

The problem is with tributaries like this they can rise and fall very quickly indeed and you need to be watching the river levels like a hawk and catch it right. 

Roving a river seems to be a lost art these days, I'm not sure why either because with nearly 10,000 steps covered in the heart of the countryside, and some fish banked, what's not to like, for me the wellbeing boost is up there with a good slug of rum, or the warmth of the sun. 

Well ok the fish are not massive, but then why would they be in a water like this, my best chub maybe 3lb 8ounces, my best trout, a scraper 2. 

I can walk here if I wanted to, the turn of the ignition key is switched clockwise 5 mins later. I'm am very lucky indeed that I have a water like this so close especially when seemingly I have it all to myself.  

My TFG River and Stream rod is perfect for the job because in some swims the longer length is needed to get over the thick brambles, roving is the key here because bites come quick if there is fish in the swim.

I'd not fished bait here for a while preferring to fish a small crankbait when the water is clear but the water was coloured after falling not far off 2 metres in as many days. 

I started off on maggot with a cage feeder full of liquidised bread with a smattering of groundbait and initially starting catching small dace after small dace and whilst I don't mind catching them, the ones that I've been catching on the Avon have been such a good stamp there are difficult to overlook.

After the capture of a few minnows the hooklink was changed and I switched to a size 10 B993 and would fit breadflake. 

The change was dramatic, with a chub caught within seconds of the hookbait settling on the deck. The water maybe only had a few inches of visibility but with watercraft and the fact I know this stretch very well indeed.

Thats the thing, you need to walk this type of river in the summer, the amount of debris in some swims is there to see and certainly swims are earmarked to avoid.
Within a couple of hours I managed 6 or 7 chub with the biggest being maybe 2.5 pound. 

Really nice to see as these are chub what have to watch their back because the resident otter(s) and not only that but when the floods hit the turmoil they have to deal with can only be respected. 

I didn't want to leave as I was enjoying it so much but still, I'm getting out more and more these days so I'm not complaining.

The sun melted the frost an hour or so in to the session and a bitterly cold day turned in to one that was very pleasant indeed. 

It was 2 degrees when I left but it's amazing isn't it how therapeutic it can be. 

The roach didn't show today for some reason it was a Chevin day and they couldn't get enough of the bread.  

The colour of the river was just perfect for the Warburtons Blue and we as anglers often know what a session will be like just looking at the colour of the water, this was one of those mornings I'll remember, can we have more of these days please. 

The Avon is dropping nicely so my allegiances will move there, brook basher (George Burton) yeap, too right George, I love it, it defines me as an angler me thinks, I cannot get enough of small rivers like this, I need to keep it a secret I think, shhhhhhhhhsssshhhhhhh !!!!


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