Thursday 8 February 2024

The Tiny River Alne - Pies and Piscicapturists

Now the term cottage pie originated in England in the 18th Century to refer to a peasant food dish. It was a meal usually eaten by poorer people living in small cottages because the ingredients were affordable. Over time, it became more popular and was crowned cottage pie.

It seems to have originated as a way for folks to make use of leftovers, in order to avoid waste, both of the food and money varieties. A pie though ? not in the true sense of the word I suppose, but certainly a winter warmer which is what we need at the minute to help with the mood, a 400 quid gas and electricity bill for last month, you what !!! 😢.

I know we are considered high users but come on 😡 the thermostat is 3 degrees less than what it was set at 12 mths ago and the washing machine, dishwasher etc are set to go on overnight to make use of the cheap leccy. I dread to think what it would be if we went back to our own ways. 

Where does all the money go each month ? God only knows, still first world problems and all that, however there is far worse going on in the world at the moment, so Mick get a grip and just pay the bill behind those gritted teeth !! 😬

Now yesterday evening's deluge of rain put the local rivers back up to teetering over the banks again, the Alne rises and falls quite fast and looked fishable following works daily drudgery. There is more heavy rain on the way so I think we chose a good week to venture off to sunnier climes, where the canaries will be a nice and hot whilst we are there , somewhere between 23-26 degrees during the day I believe, which is perfect for me 🌞

So this late afternoon and Friday (where I'd try for a barbel hopefully) were the only possible fishing days really. 

The bag of worms I bought the other week I decanted in to a bait tub upon receiving them and used one or two but obviously one met with the grim reaper and sadly took the others with it. 

My wormery despite being frozen a week ago came up trumps with a few worms thankfully, where I'd use one or two tipped with a red maggot on a size 16 hook.

Pungent and fragrant roach groundbait in the feeder to try and winkle out a fish from the slack I knew that would be there at this level. Now the 12 ounce PB dace I caught on this stretch was still on the back of my mind because the average stamp of Alne dace does seem to be very big indeed for a small river.

I'm sure there are bigger ones to be caught as well, because why not ? a fluke quite possibly but when the conditions are right and the fish are there, anything can turn up here, it's that sort of river. It surprises me every time I fish it. 

Ok, blanks are more often than not, but catch it on a good day, prepared to be surprised. It helps that it's 5 minutes from my house mind you because after a string of blanks I'd have forgotten about it a while ago. 

Now it took a good half an hour to get the first bite which I missed obviously !! but it meant there was fish in the swim so it didn't take long for a fish to hook itself. The 1oz quiver jumped in to life and pulled round all the way to where it pushes in to the rod.

Yeay a little dace, but not exactly what I was after being only a 1/4 or so of the size I wanted. I kept at it though and at one stage had to dig up a few worms because I wasn't happy with the mediocre ones the wormey had produced.

It produces a heck of a lot of worms I must admit but I've seen more meat on a butchers pencil so I'm obviously not feeding them well enough. Answers on a postcard please !! I basically feed almost everything really where they have a bumper amount when I've made a Sunday roast. 

Anyway a few more missed bites usually on the Alne this means fish will be queing up, well or so I thought. The bites suddenly stopped, dusk didn't help either and after having to illuminate the tip with the head torch after half an hour I decided to knock it on the head.

I had lots to do at home one was to print off the 5 year Spanish Sea Fishing licence off and sort my gear out for the holiday. I've used this company before run by Sunny who does the leg work for you (because especially in the Canaries it's a pain in the proverbials .I know you don't need one in the UK to sea fish, but in Spain you do for fishing from the shore so, when in Rome and all that and I go once or twice a year to Spain or the Canaries, so a no brainer really. 


  1. If they're all tiny, they're probably red worms. Still a great bait.
    Brandlings are bigger. I've got a mixture of both in my heap.
    Water melon and well rotted horse muck is the magic feed in my experience. A few tea bags, banana skins and apples don't hurt either.

    1. I don't think it's a good idea to chuck anything and everything in the heap. Stick to the stuff they really like.

  2. Cool I'll give that a go. To be honest most of the stuff that goes in there is potato skins, cabbage, leaks, carrot peeling that sort of thing

  3. And they love onion leftovers too😉


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