The Dace fishing had been a blast but it wasn't the only thing that enabled me to get my flowing fix, many species were tempted but the Roach fishing was also very good. Hard at times but if it's worth catching it's worth working for. Over the years I've made it clear that Roach are my favourite species and whether they are 8oz or 2lb 8oz I get a serious amount of satisfaction from catching them.
I started the season on the first day with a massive haul of Redfin's, seventy-one of them to be precise, the average weight was around 10-11ozs to which a handful were over the pound mark, the sight of the float burying itself on what seemed like every trot was a real treat. Session's don't always pan out like that but it was clear they were hungry and particularly foolish. That wasn't my only red-letter-day for the species, but the trips that I ventured out and caught very little were often the trips that I contacted the jewels of waterways. Again, I've said it on numerous occasions in the past, a two-pound Roach is a monster of a fish for the species, one that has and will elude many anglers during their lifetimes, the fact I have caught nearly thirty over that magical weight is something I treasure already and under no illusion's at how tough it has been to get where I am.
It took five sessions of Roach fishing at one point to catch, patience was required in large quantities but just like the Dace I was almost certain it would happen, on the fifth session I landed a stunning Roach of 2lb 3oz, this fish made it onto the front cover of the now unfortunately defunct "Coarse Angling Today", regrettably, probably the best angling glossy of my generation ceased to go to print as costs were crippling the company behind it, advertisement is so powerful and is the sole reason the remaining angling magazines are still going, even these seemingly large empires are struggling and have come close to ceasing print themselves, sad state of affairs but I felt honoured to appear on the front cover on the second to last ever run. Privileged.
|First "two" of the season.|
My attention's turned away from the Roach for a little while before giving them a quick go, to my surprise it didn't take much to come across my next gem, the river wasn't in great condition from what I remember but the loss of clarity must have made the Roach a little more confident, absolutely pristine.
2lb 5ozs, stunning fish.
So next was my third of the season and my largest of the season, actually my largest in nearly a decade, at 2lb 10oz it was colossal. The width and length was madness, when that fish was approaching the net I seriously thought it was going to trouble my personal best, alas it did not but I was thoroughly chuffed, what a specimen she was and had the pleasure of inching her into the river by hand to revive and then allow her just to slip out of my hands, back into the river.
|In a state of enchantment, what a colossal fish.|
So when I thought Roach fishing was over as the Dace fishing was in full swing I snuck out for a four-hour session to see if I could tempt a Roach, not only did I tempt a Roach but it was another two-pounder. I was in dreamland, 2lb 6ozs of pure muscle, it still amazes me how strong large river Roach are, nothing can prepare you for how dirty and strong they can scrap.
And last but not least, this corker below. Photo was courtesy of the very man who this session was intended, the task was for me to impart my knowledge and guile to catch/be within a chance of catching a two-pound Redfin, this wasn't for the faint hearted, Roach this size are extremely rare in rivers but I was confident that the condition's were good, within an hour I posed with this peach of 2lb 2oz, a large frame and a great fight, what a season it was for specimen Redfin's and I had plenty of back-up fish between 1.08 and 1.14, I missed out on the 2lb mark another three times by two ounces, this coming winter they will all surpass the magic mark.
|A beauty of a Roach, number 28.|