Saturday 7 January 2023

The Tiny River Alne - Acrobats and Aphrodisiomania

Working (mostly) from the home office again now like many anglers the gaze out the window our minds go on to all things fishing related, even though I do reminisce to the work pre COVID times. 

Back in the jobbing days I remember one particular night out with an agent I used to work for after a few drinks Louise, who I secretly had a thing for, out of the blue, dropped to her knees and proceeded to do the 'worm'. 


All very surreal really and I still remember it to this day because we were in a random mediocre pub in Leamington and probably the likes of tipsy Louise and her busted moves never likely to be seen again. 
 
Now for those that don't know the worm is a dance motion associated with breakdancing, also referred to as the centipede, the caterpillar or the dolphin, or also erroneously the snake or the wave (names of other breakdance moves). 

In this move as shown the subject lies prone position and forms a rippling motion through their body, creating a wave reminiscent of earthworm locomotion.

Talking of worms UNDOUBTEDLY, the best all-round bait for small river and stream fishing is the humble worm. It is one of the deadliest baits for chub, perch, and trout; most other species will also take it, and even pike are sometimes tempted by a large worm. The big lobworm can be found in most gardens, as long as the soil is damp; but the best places to find it are on bowling- greens, tennis-courts, cricket-pitches-or anywhere where the grass is short enough to permit the worm to be seen. 


During the day it is rarely seen on the surface, but at night large quantities can often be picked up with the aid of a torch. The light should never be shone directly on to the worm though, or it will quickly retreat into its hole. The best time to seek lobworms is after a long period of heavy rain, when the ground has been thoroughly soaked. 

They can also be bought from suppliers such as Willy Worms or your local tackle shop. Once obtained, they should be placed in a large receptacle, such as a discarded bath, or a large bowl, half-filled with a mixture of damp soil and vegetation. 


Leaf mould, or grass tussocks are ideal. Never fill the receptacle to the brim, or the worms will escape. If the soil in the container is dampened by periodic sprinkling with water, the worms can be kept indefinitely. 

Some anglers use only the tail of the lobworm, others, like myself, prefer to use the whole worm. Because of its size, this type of worm should always be fished on a large hook, preferably a size 4, or 6, and certainly no smaller than a size 10. The hook should be inserted once only, and closer to the head than the tail.


It is a mistake to thread the worm on the hook as this reduces its liveliness and makes it less attractive to the fish. The smaller red-worms, or brandlings, which can be found abundantly in rotted-down manure heaps, are also useful. Al though they lack the size and weight of the lobworm, they are an excellent bait for most species of fish-especially for perch. 

Unfortunately, they are also very attractive to minnows, and when these nuisance fish are troublesome the bigger lobworm should be used. Brandlings should be fished on a smaller hook than the lobworm-a size 10 or 12 is about right-or a bunch of them can be fished on a larger hook, when required. Two other types of worm are also worth mentioning. 


One is a tough, pinkish-coloured worm that can often be found in gardens, but is more plentiful in chicken-runs, or anywhere where poultry are allowed to run free. This worm is smaller than the lobworm, but larger than the brandling, and can be a deadly bait when upstreaming for trout. The other is a big worm with a characteristic bluish-red sheen on its body, which can be found along the banks of some rivers after a flood. 

It lies beneath tussocks of grass and debris and, if used in the river beside which it is found, is often irresistible to all fish-probably because they have become accustomed to eating it after the floods have washed it into the river. 


Worms of all types can be used in most water conditions, but are most effective during and after a spate, when the water is high and coloured. The Alne was chocolate brown as expected but the colour was dropping out and it looked a perfect colour for a bite.

It was clear though as soon as the pungent groundbait and worm hit the deck that minnows would be an issue because in a few swims literally within a split second of the bait going out there were on it. 


Still plenty of swims to fish and the swims with cover I'm sure would hold the bigger fish. What I didn't expect though was that the only fish caught other than minnows were trout, 4 of them in-fact and 3 came from this swim.

One even grabbed the worm on the retrieve but dropped off before I landed it, but at least they provided some fun on light gear when the dace and chub didn't seem to get the invite. 


This the biggest decided to jump clear of the water like he'd had a rocket up its jacksie. The rain was on and off during the session so when it decided to bucket it down it was time for the off, because as much as I don't mind fishing in the rain, I'm sure if I continued on fishing trout would be the only species I'd manage.

I love this little river and considering I've been a member for quite a few years now, I can count on one hand how many other anglers I've seen, it's on my doorstep though it makes a big difference.

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