Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Thursday 27 April 2023

Warwickshire Trout - River Alne Pt.6

Now for apart from regularly hooking themselves, fishermen often hook old boots, fence posts, cows and other animals. They don't mean to do it; it just happens. Occasionally it happens in a way that is quite out of the ordinary.

Apparently in 1910 a man fishing for trout on the River Test just below Winchester caught a tree. He'd been trying to execute a particularly long cast to a rising trout under the far bank and in the traditional way something to do with the triumph of experience over hope his back cast wound itself neatly around the outstretched branch of a willow. 

The fisherman was cross and rather than try to extricate his tackle carefully he gave an angry pull and his line snapped, but unusually, his cast (which had three flies attached) fell from the tree on to a duck that had been quietly snoozing the afternoon away. 

The duck felt the coils of line land on her and panicked. She leapt into the river, shook herself indignantly, and swam off downstream. The fisherman looked on with some concern as his cast had three flies with their three sharp hooks attached, but there was nothing he could do.

Then, as he watched, he saw the unmistakable gloop of a rising trout right behind the duck. It was without question a big trout and it had taken one of the three flies left dangling from the duck's neck. There began one of the oddest battles ever witnessed on an English river.

In its attempts to shake off the hook, the trout dived and leapt, sometimes pulling the duck's head under the water, sometimes half yanking the duck into the air. Each time the duck pulled the trout out of the water, but the trout was too big for the duck to carry off. 

As the duck tried to take off, the trout felt a greater pull and, panicking in its turn, tried to reach the bottom of the river. The duck was immediately half submerged. The tussle seemed to go on for ever, with the fisherman transfixed by the unprecedented sight. At one moment the trout would be gasping, its head in the air, the next the duck would be half drowned in the river.

Anyway I was back again on the Alne 24 hours later to try and winkle out a decent trout. I was on the lower reaches of the syndicate stretch yesterday but fancied exploring some of the shallower upstream swims where trout a likely to hang around. 

I had a few hits recently but failed to bank a fish but this time I wanted to try out the slightly larger Salmo Butcher that has a slower action but also is far shallower running. 

I love this little river because not only being 5 mins away, but also because I have it all to myself basically. The other syndicate members have the odd match here and from time to time I see another angler but it's like my own stretch of river. 

There was a tinge of colour still but being shallow in the main the lure could be seen no problem. The butcher is ideal really because the Alne is debris ridden and being a shallower diver means the lure doesn't get caught up (much). Lure prices just seem to be going up and up and lose a lure that is £8 down the swanee.

I use 18lb flurocarbon as a hooklink because it doesn't effect the fishing and it also means if I cast in to a tree I can give it a heck of a yank to try and free it. 

Anyway to the session, 4 more trout banked, 2 came off mid fight and also I had a few more hits where I didn't hook up. I love this sort of fishing where out of nowhere the trout appears and nails the lure right in front of you.

Nothing big for this session and in the end I walked the whole length and back which is >3 miles. The farmer has been doing some more tree felling too, this time removing a huge tree that was not only blocking the river but also hindering its flow. 


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