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14.11.16 Thames Trotting

Posted by The Flying Tench , 14 November 2016 · 0 views

3 - 4.30pm.  Tackle shop owners and anglers on the bank are saying the same thing. For some reason the Thames is full of roach this year, up to just under a pound. Chokka. Wall to wall. Brim full. It's so full of roach that I have found myself asking if there is even room for any water! And what is more they are unbelievably easy to catch. 'Bite a chuck mate, you can't go wrong.' The only problem is that not many of them have been finding their way into my landing net.
So in sceptical mood I arrived at the river today near where I live only to find someone float fishing, which is not all that usual. It's usually ledger or lures. 'River's fishing it's socks off' he said, 'I've got 15lbs of roach in here, up to 12 oz.' Phew! So much for my scepticism. He was good at his art, and it was a pleasure to watch. It was certainly 'bite a chuck', though while I was there it was all small ones.
So I set up some way along the bank in a super swim, 7 feet of water under the rod top and a nice flow for trotting. And near enough in for me to see the float despite my developing cataracts. I started with maggot, and the first fish was a nice roach of about 6oz. I was optimistic. But from then on, plenty of them, but all small. I switched to double caster to try and winkle out some better ones, but to no avail. Then to bread on a size 12 hook. Almost no bites.
Ah well, an enjoyable session, and I'll certainly go back to that swim.  But I'll have to think of other tactics to get the better roach. Not sure if hemp'n tares will work in winter? Or maybe a more purposeful bread approach.

I'd spend some time with the flake/feeder/mash approach John. Once the roach become confident in taking the bread bites will be as regular as when using maggots and in my opinion a better stamp of fish will be the result. I'm new to it but plan to try the upstream ledgering method with bread a lot more over the coming winter. On Sunday the Thames roach were feeding very enthusiastically and it took me back to the days of my youth when you could find them in most waters, the prospect of a 2lb'er is every bit as exciting as a 7lb chub or 4lb perch.


Forgot to mention that I found a size 16 hook with a small piece of flake pinched around it to be about right. I had another rod out with a much larger hook/flake combination for chub but nothing was interested in that.     

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