Sunday, 28 February 2021

The Tiny River Alne - Snow Moons and Sphygmomanometers

An hour in to this morning session down at the local river Alne I was left wondering if I should have had played out groundhog day. 

You see with the snow moon illuminating the winter sky, the fields covered in a hard frost may sitting it out for Pike again might have been the better option. The banker swim produced well diddly squat and that's a sign things would be off for this session.

Small rivers like this can have off days and the more I fish this little handy waterway I learn more about it.The river is low, the colour dropping out but usually find the deeper areas you'll find some fish. 

Fishing is certainly exercise though because this 4 hour session toing and froing I covered 10k steps quite easily. 7 days earlier the fishing couldn't have been any different, the fish were literally jumping up the line the last time here, this morning I was scratching around for a bite. 


The swim above there was a cormorant in here last time, probably the widest bit of river over the whole mile stretch I fish.

You'd probably have thought they wouldn't bother with small river like this but having stumbled upon a swim full chublets and dace last time, you could probably see even here is not safe from these hungry predators, there are fish here to fill bellies that's for sure. 
 
I stuck it out in one swim which is 4 or 5 foot deep and fed red maggots for a qood while and thought I'd try and attract any fish downstream to home in on the free offerings.

A good half an hour passed without even a knock on double maggot and I was getting ready to move again but a couple of tentative pulls I had my first bite.

I thought it was a dace at first the way it was fighting but no it was a small chublet that had been tucking in to the freebies looking at the mashed maggots he stuffed in to his big gob.

I really thought, right that's it, I will start getting bites now, but no after retaining it in the edge in the landing net, a sprinkling of maggots, the quivertip remained as lifeless as the river.

I had the lure rod with me though and the weir wasn't far away so a hop step and jump I was wading the clear water to hopefully catch a chub or even a trout.

Chuck after chuck, cast after cast, not a sausage and usually at least a brownie or two succumbs to the rattling hornet.

I changed the lures a couple of times too, the smaller cockchaffer and wobbleart's more discrete bullhead, again, no interest whatsoever.

I'm a roving angler at heart though so I up-sticks and went to the middle of the stretch where the bigger chub I find usually reside.

I switched to bread and a larger hook and dropped the lump of bread in to swim after swim and nothing doing at all. In waters like this you will get a reaction pretty quick if there is a fish up for feeding there.

If you're not getting bites you need to move it's as simple as that. I'd not been up this area for a while and with the sun strong in the clear sky I've forgot just how nice this part of the rivers looks. It really was lovely to be out, solitude, sun and ok the fishing was off, but I'm not complaining, a stunning morning again.


The bread had no interest whatsoever so I switched to maggot again and this time I'd try and fish closer to cover to see if the fish were tightly packed together out of harms way.

One swim looked ideal and after a few maggots fed just upstream I cast the link ledger under the raft. A flask of coffee the sun on my back eventually a bite came.


It's quite an elevated swim and I could see it was a small chublet again but this one didn't fight like chub do. I think it was caught off guard and didn't realise his mistake till it was safely in the landing net.

I don't know who was grumpier me or the chub, miserable so and so...

After his solitary confinement with no more of his mates to join him, I retraced my steps and ended up back where I had started.


In some respects the weather made the session, the fish rubbish but you cannot write the script in angling now can you. 

I chucked the lure a little more, fed fruitless maggots and fished bread again to try and get a bonus fish, nada, nothing. This session really couldn't be more different and in hindsight lazy pike with stomachs to appease probably was the better option. 


If only there was a switch you could press to get the fish to feed, that would be nice wouldn't it, but that would be too easy wouldn't it. Heck with this easy fishing talk Tunnel Barn might lay out their red carpet.

The river season is coming to a close though so it was a bit of wasted session I suppose my heart rate not raised clearly enough. The good weather was a nice sidetrack though, a trip out to the local park before a slap up Sunday with slow cooked beef brisket and good wine to look forward to, its wasn't all bad. 

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