Thursday 14 September 2023

The Tiny River Alne - Oddballs and Odontography

Towards the end of September the twenty-third to be precise the year moves into Autumn, probably the best all-round time of the year for coarse fishermen. All the fish are in condition and have settled down in their traditional haunts. With a bit of luck the weather will still be mild and the days not yet too short. Having come back from a relatively chilled 5 days in Spain after the two weeks in Cornwall and Devon, to be honest I was glad to get back to the UK when it was raining. 

Some new Crocs (50% off cus of the colour) was perfect for sea fishing where the old'uns were past their best, little like me I suppose. The Jimny though 4 years young was rewarded with a service and it sailed through the MOT. Now luckily for the Spanish they are not ripped off on food and drink prices at their chosen watering holes although the petrol was more or less the same as rip off Britain. Ryanair, yeap, not as cheap as you think either despite the no frills service. 

Now the barbel comes into its own in September, and as a fighter there's no coarse fish to touch it. It hugs the bottom in fast-flowing, gravelly runs, and its flat-bellied triangular shape means that it gets all the help it needs from the current. Angling for barbel carries another hazard, apart from the fish's ability to break tackle that of the old boy who wanders up and witters on about the old days when they used to tip in huge sackfuls of worms as groundbait. Ah, he remembers it well.

Tipping in sackfuls of worms is a method that went out with World War One. They couldn't get the chaps any more, for some reason. So unless the old boy really is a trainee corpse and tottering about on two sticks, he's an old fibber who's hoping for a free pint on the strength of his reminiscences. Buy him a pint by all means, but don't let him tap you up for two.

September is also the time for the biggest match event in the coarse fishing year: the annual World Championships. The match is fished in a different country every year. Or if the same country crops up more than once, at least at a different venue. In 1985 the England team won for the first time since the competition began in 1957.

The 69th World Freshwater Coarse Angling Championships was held in Mequinenza-Fayón, Spain on 9-10th September 2023 and the team event won by Serbia, for a second consecutive year, with England in second place, and France in third. The individual world championship winner was Esteve Martinez , with James Dent and Sean Ashby of England in second and third place.

Yeap I haven't a clue who they are either, but then why would I ? bit like catching fish I suppose 😀, cus I've not got a clue either.

So where to go where to fish ?

To be honest convenience was the key for this trip as I didn't really want to drive that far so the Alne was chosen to try and winkle out a dace or a chub from its small waters. I only had bread at my disposal really and having caught a 12 ounce dace recently on this small river I was hoping for a bite or two and hopefully from a decent dace or one of the better chub. 

The rain hadn't touched the river at all when I got bankside the slight tinge of colour meant the river was still clear and the Alne never fishes well whatsoever when it's clear. The key to fishing it when it's like this is to fish the deeper swims which to be honest are few and far between.

The first swim where I caught the decent dace from was showing no flow whatsoever and after feeding some bread in to a couple of the swims I got fishing. As soon as the bread hit the bottom the minnows were on to it straight away.

The first proper fish was a feisty chublet that gave one of the best definitions of a drop back bite ever and took me all over the swim. I thought that would be it in that swim but when retrieving the bread about fifteen minutes after netting the fish a decent trout came out of nowhere and grabbed the bait.

Maybe lure fishing would have been the best way to go but still I wasn't complaining because what a fight on light gear.. It was doing its best to get off but in the end after giving a cracking account for itself it succumbed to the same demise as the chublet in my landing net.

Not a bad trout for the Alne so despite the conditions it was worth coming out. A couple more swims later I managed another chublet but it was clear the fish were not really having it. Ok I could have stayed in to dusk where maybe the bigger chub would surface, but that was a couple of hours away and to be honest, I wasn't really feeling it.

So I ended the session early and headed home to derive a plan of action of the next fishing trip(s). I fancy a decent chub again so that could be the next session, but where then after ? I need a think. 


  1. Clonking trout Mick. Top quality no shame Crocs too 🤣

  2. My previous pair latest Aggeeesssssssssss and so handy especially for rock pooling and wading, but yes the colour meant no one had been buying them and rhey were 50% off :)


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