Monday 4 October 2021

The Tiny River Alne - Pandora Papers and Pantile Shops

The secret deals and hidden assets of some of the world’s richest and most powerful people have been revealed in the biggest trove of leaked offshore data in history. 

Branded the Pandora papers, the cache includes 11.9m files from companies hired by wealthy clients to create offshore structures and trusts in tax havens such as Panama, Dubai, Monaco, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

They expose the secret offshore affairs of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers and heads of state. They also shine a light on the secret finances of more than 300 other public officials such as government ministers, judges, mayors and military generals in more than 90 countries

A surprise ? Errrr not really, the rich get richer, the greedy get greedier !!!!

Now lets get back to some good news, John Hickling worked in IT for a bank. The money was good, but he had a desire to create something more than spreadsheets. As a beer fanatic, he decided to try brewing his own. He built a tiny brewery in his kitchen with plastic buckets and parts from a hardware store. Brewing beer was a revelation.

His friends agreed the beer he made at home was better than they could buy in the pub, and he dreamed of turning his passion into a business. Inspired, he quit his job, sold his house and co-founded his first brewery in 2008. The awards soon rolled in, and the brewery was a storming success.

After five years, he felt he had taken the business as far as he could. He sold his stake in the brewery, and started thinking about new projects. 

But he had a problem: he desperately missed brewing. It took selling his first brewery for him to realise that brewing was never just a job, it was his vocation. He decided to start from scratch and apply all the accumulated knowledge he’d gained at his first brewery into something and somewhere new. In 2015 Vocation Brewery was born, with one member of staff, a rebuilt chicken shed, and a dog for company.

Today Vocation brewery now have around 60 staff, and sell the equivalent of 10 million cans per year. Now this 11.4% Chocolate & Banana Stout was substituted by Tesco for another porter that wasn't in stock so I was looking forward to trying it when cooking up the Sunday roast, as no way is a 440ml can worth 5 quid of my hard earned money.
Aged in ex-Rum barrels, apparently the beer is a blend of 12-month aged, 6-month aged, and fresh beer. 

Strong flavours of banana and dark chocolate submerge the senses and draw you in to the deep and intense aroma. 

Silky smooth I must admit and I do like their red ale, but for me, this was far too sweet for my palette. 

Some strong porters can be sweet, but this was overly sweet if I'm honest and ok I got through it of course as it did improve swig after swig, but I won't be rushing to get some more of it. I can get three 500ml  bottles of Champion for less than the cost of one can, that fact is hard to get my head around. 

But then you only have to visit your local supermarket where the 'traditional' beers are being moved to one side and the craft beers are taking over. I may well have to stock pile certain beers because they are disappearing it seems. Hopefully still available direct from the manufactures though because maybe stockpiling isn't a good idea, as I'd have temptation staring me right in my face. 

Sorry Vocation, just not for me, keep up the good work though, I do like what you are doing. 

Now the handy little Alne has risen nicely with the recent rain and unlike the Avon at the minute it does colour up nicely. Lobworms work well here, in-fact only half a worm is needed on a size 6 hook and its a case of roving around the find the fish.

The first bite took a while in the first swim but I gave it a little longer as it always holds fish despite a rather large overhanging tree that has been removed recently. A chublet that wanted to get in the cover as soon as it felt the point of the hook.

What I didn't expect though was usually I have this stretch to myself  but half an hour in to the session I see 4 cars turn up that had come through the padlocked gate. Hmmmm, checks the back of the syndicate card....

....bugger, there is a match on, silly me !!!!

As I travel light I went to have a natter with the fellow syndicate member and put my hands up to confess I hadn't realised there was a match on. There was only 4 or 5 of them and I've met a few of them before so after exchanging pleasantries I went on my way above where the last peg was. 

Minnows can be a problem here and every swim seemed to have them in. The lobworm was being attacked on the way down through the water column. Not an issue really because leave those little pulls and knocks and wait for the tip to go round.

Big baits work well on the Alne especially for the Chub where large pieces of breadflake are my go to bait.

It was quite a cold morning to start with 7 degrees or so when I got to the river however the sun was out and the skies were blue so it didn't take long for the mercury to rise. 

I do love it here though because it is so quiet, traffic noise minimal and the fact that it is so close helps as well especially when as I said before I've usually got it to myself. The fish are not big admittedly but there are always surprises to be had and that's why I like fishing it.

The dace didn't show at all today but come winter time I'm sure this stretch could well come up with a PB for me. They just seem to be getting bigger and bigger year on year. 

The chub don't though and this 3lber is probably one of the bigger ones to come from the stretch. For a roving angler like I am waters like this really do suit me down to a tee. More my kind of fishing really especially when being fully immersed in to the countryside only amplifies that. 


  1. Minnows are greedier than gonks..deffo a Champion for me tonight.

    1. Well got an email back from the match guys, didn't fish well at all...

      Hello Mick,
      You would have won the match!
      1.14.0 was first.I had 1.10,8.Third was 0.14.0(although he did have two good trout which took minnows he was bringing in-trout don't count in matches.)4th was 0.11.0.
      All the best,


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