Following on from my mind blowing local roach catch in my last update, I simply had to give the river some more attention. Even though I don’t like flogging venues to death, experience has taught me that good fishing can be here one day, but gone the next.
I’d kept my eye on the shoal of roach, but the river was getting far too low and clear, making the fish very nervous. A few days of rain sorted that problem out, though the extra water and autumnal weather saw all kinds of debris floating down stream. Also, I knew I wouldn’t be able to target individual specimens, so it was just a case of trotting the stream and seeing what was willing to feed.
While I rigged my light stick float rig up, I flicked a dozen or so casters into the swim every 30 seconds. Hopefully this would get any big roach in the area feeding confidently before I started. It certainly did the trick as on the first run down, the float vanished from sight. The strike met firm resistance, then followed the familiar ‘jag jag glide’ sensation from a big roach hooked in flowing water. I took my time in playing it to the net, where it was landed at the first time of asking. After shipping the net back and folding the mesh away I was met by the sight of a stunning fish, not the hoped for 2 pound specimen, but one not too far away. The scales gave a reading of 1lb 11oz, a fish that would have had me doing cartwheels a few weeks earlier, prior to my previous efforts.
After the good start, a couple of smaller roach fell to my rod, before I landed a couple more belters up to probably a pound and a quarter. By now, steady rain had started to fall, spoiling things somewhat. I continued feeding my casters and running my float over the top of the feed. Every so often the float would jag under and the prize would be a quality roach or a chunky chub. I think the fact I’d fed a little heavier this time had drawn a shoal of chub into the swim. I didn’t like this as I felt that for every fish I hooked in the swim, my chances of catching one of the 2lb roach reduced somewhat.
I did manage to catch a couple more big roach as the light faded. One was unweighed, but around 1lb 8oz, the other I did weigh which pulled the needle on the scales round to 1lb 13oz, a magnificent roach. The steady rain meant I didn’t take a photo of me holding it, I didn’t want to ruin my camera by giving it a soaking!
I did take a photo of some of my final catch on the mat, before quickly putting them back. I’m sure you’ll agree it was indeed a day of ‘Autumn Glory’
The final catch was 4 chub to around 4lbs and 8 roach to 1lb 13oz. I love catching all fish, but these big roach from a local river ‘up north’ are the real stars for me