We all put names on pools, sections of river etc. How many rivers have a junction pool, bridge pool, sea pool and so on? Names that were there before we were and will be there when we are long gone.
However we often find a bit of water that we christen ourselves, almost a code name for a particular section of water that means something to us in some way. Whether it be descriptive of the location or evocative of that particular place to the anglers involved. We often hear anglers talk of a “sweet spot” or “honey hole”, a place that just produces for them and one they often want to preserve in a way, keep it a little off the beaten track, not proclaim it too much, lest it get too much traffic.
Streamer Alley was one of these. A special place. When we hit that river, it was not to be rushed directly to, mind you. You needed to warmup first, other pools to wet the line, get your eye in, feel the pull of the river against your waders and get your footing, wading, casting, stripping co-ordination dialed in.
Alleys have a funny connotation in our minds, off the main street, not well lit, darker, a little unsafe, where many fear to tread because of what may be in wait there. Streamer Alley was that, an overgrown long run with the trees and foliage pushing you out of the safe side to wade on. Darker more ominous than the well visited bridge pool further up and nowhere as easy to wade or fish than the Grand plaza that was the next good pool on the river.
People didn’t wade it, they ignored it. They walked down the well beaten path on the bank. Maybe they were sensible, it was a precarious tippy toe wade in places, water a footstep away from topping your chest waders. The bankside vegetation hampered your casting to a roll or spey cast on your single hander. Your streamer had to find its mark on the far bank tight to and under the bushes where possible. Strip, bang! Your streamer did not get pulled, it got mugged! Streamer Alley gave us thrills and action like only a rough part of town can. However like a lot of the rough parts of town, they get cleared and knocked down. Streamer Alley succumbed to a new housing estate built far too close to the river, almost overlooking it and those rough residents moved out.
That’s progress and we have other honeypots still but that brings back great memories, an exciting place, a great testing ground. Enjoy your own Streamer Alleys and keep looking for more, you never know when those streets will change.