Brilliant Thames Trotting Roach Bag

Silverfisher

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After taking the weekend off I was back on the Thames in my new favourite swim on the old sandford old channel today and today was the day I finally cracked it with a good bag of mostly good roach. I had easily my best session of the season so far and to be honest it was my best session in terms of enjoyment and sense of achievement since I’ve been on the forum.

I started on maggot at about 8 and it didn’t take long to get to 10 bleak like usual. I switched to hemp at 8.30 and fished it up until I all but ran out of it at 2.30. In that time I had 56 good stamp roach along with 8 reasonable dace and what I think was a decent silver bream plus another 5 bleak. Everything was of a good enough average size that it probably equated to somewhere in the region on 16-17lb. It was pretty windy again for large parts of the session which did make things a bit awkward presentation and hitting bites wise so with more favourable weather I’m sure I could have done 20lb. I’m not at all bothered about that though as it was just a great session that exceeded my expectations for sure.

It was my best river roach catch in a few years so I left very satisfied indeed. Not much beats a good bag of trotted for good stamp roach for me so I’m feeling pretty happy now as I write this. It’s been great fun learning how to catch them on hemp again after not doing it for a few years before this season. The current situation has helped in that its let me spend much more time on the river than usual but I’d also like to thank those on here that have given me tips on hemp fishing those people being the likes of @david white @NoCarpPlease and @MarkW to name just a few.

All fish were caught on the usual 13ft Drennan acolyte ultra float rod paired with the Drennan 7 series 3000 float reel loaded with 3lb maxima to a 1.5g Drennan loaded crystal insert to a size 18 to 2.5lb Drennan silverfish hook to nylon. The initial burst of bleak were on single red maggot but the rest of the fish were on a single grain of hemp over a loose feed of just hemp with the very occasional pinch of maggots. I fished two lines with one being about a quarter to a third of the way across stream set to trip the bottom in about 6ft of water and one midstream set up just off the bottom in ever so slightly deeper water. The vast majority of the fish in the morning came on the close line with just about the majority of those in the afternoon coming from midstream.

All in all it really was a great day and one that I’ll remember for a long time. Another plus was that it was the 12th session I’ve had so far on my £12 season ticket so I’ve got it down to £1 a session comfortably within a month lol! Only slight downer was the that my grandad hid at home from the wind today so he missed out on the bagging up. He’s coming with me again tomorrow though although not sure where we’ll go. I’m possibly ready for a change now I’ve cracked sandford but I’m happy to have another go if he wants to try crack it himself!

Couple swim pics for you showing the contrast from start to end of the session plus a selection of the roach to show the size range/stamp.
1594049375392.jpeg
1594049414476.jpeg
1594049501526.jpeg
1594049515058.jpeg
1594049528373.jpeg
1594049542015.jpeg
1594049559048.jpeg
1594049578856.jpeg
 

Silver fan 82

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Sep 2, 2019
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2,564
After taking the weekend off I was back on the Thames in my new favourite swim on the old sandford old channel today and today was the day I finally cracked it with a good bag of mostly good roach. I had easily my best session of the season so far and to be honest it was my best session in terms of enjoyment and sense of achievement since I’ve been on the forum.

I started on maggot at about 8 and it didn’t take long to get to 10 bleak like usual. I switched to hemp at 8.30 and fished it up until I all but ran out of it at 2.30. In that time I had 56 good stamp roach along with 8 reasonable dace and what I think was a decent silver bream plus another 5 bleak. Everything was of a good enough average size that it probably equated to somewhere in the region on 16-17lb. It was pretty windy again for large parts of the session which did make things a bit awkward presentation and hitting bites wise so with more favourable weather I’m sure I could have done 20lb. I’m not at all bothered about that though as it was just a great session that exceeded my expectations for sure.

It was my best river roach catch in a few years so I left very satisfied indeed. Not much beats a good bag of trotted for good stamp roach for me so I’m feeling pretty happy now as I write this. It’s been great fun learning how to catch them on hemp again after not doing it for a few years before this season. The current situation has helped in that its let me spend much more time on the river than usual but I’d also like to thank those on here that have given me tips on hemp fishing those people being the likes of @david white @NoCarpPlease and @MarkW to name just a few.

All fish were caught on the usual 13ft Drennan acolyte ultra float rod paired with the Drennan 7 series 3000 float reel loaded with 3lb maxima to a 1.5g Drennan loaded crystal insert to a size 18 to 2.5lb Drennan silverfish hook to nylon. The initial burst of bleak were on single red maggot but the rest of the fish were on a single grain of hemp over a loose feed of just hemp with the very occasional pinch of maggots. I fished two lines with one being about a quarter to a third of the way across stream set to trip the bottom in about 6ft of water and one midstream set up just off the bottom in ever so slightly deeper water. The vast majority of the fish in the morning came on the close line with just about the majority of those in the afternoon coming from midstream.

All in all it really was a great day and one that I’ll remember for a long time. Another plus was that it was the 12th session I’ve had so far on my £12 season ticket so I’ve got it down to £1 a session comfortably within a month lol! Only slight downer was the that my grandad hid at home from the wind today so he missed out on the bagging up. He’s coming with me again tomorrow though although not sure where we’ll go. I’m possibly ready for a change now I’ve cracked sandford but I’m happy to have another go if he wants to try crack it himself!

Couple swim pics for you showing the contrast from start to end of the session plus a selection of the roach to show the size range/stamp.
1594049375392.jpeg
1594049414476.jpeg
1594049501526.jpeg
1594049515058.jpeg
1594049528373.jpeg
1594049542015.jpeg
1594049559048.jpeg
1594049578856.jpeg
Another good session mate. Very well done indeed. Your report has really made me want to get out and have a bit of a roach session.
 

Silverfisher

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Thanks mate :)

Yeah go have a go, they seem to have really woken up here in the last week so I’d imagine it’ll be similar on most rivers now.
 

Silver fan 82

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Thanks mate :)

Yeah go have a go, they seem to have really woken up here in the last week so I’d imagine it’ll be similar on most rivers now.
Yeah let's hope that the weather becomes more settled now and the fish start feeding a bit more consistently now. It's been a bit on and off lately.
 

Silverfisher

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True, its not been very pleasant weather on any of my last handful of sessions but its at least been consistent which has probably helped the fishing. That said july time does tend to be roach time around here so maybe all is normal lol
 

Silver fan 82

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True, its not been very pleasant weather on any of my last handful of sessions but its at least been consistent which has probably helped the fishing. That said july time does tend to be roach time around here so maybe all is normal lol
Looking forward yo doing a bit more roach fishing during the coming months.
 

david white

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Silverfisher

??
glad to have been able to pass on a few tips, reading you reports is almost like being there myself, I’ve of the opinion that you’ve just scratched the surface keep at it and once the summer holidays have been and gone ( well in normal times ) but September onwards if history repeats itself and you can be on the bank at dusk the ‘ dog ‘ roach tend to put in an appearance
here’s how I used to fish for them :
using the waggler tactics I previously outlined as the light fades you ought to be able to draw the roach on to the stick float line, ideally about a rod or a rod and half out, for the last half hour of your session increase the depth ( on the stick float ) by about 2 foot move the shot down to form a bulk and sort of ‘ lay on ‘ ( as suggested its easier if you can do this a rod length out or so, and about a rod length down stream, if this make sense, try a tare or a lump of flake, it can be a killer method ) 14 or even 15ft rod makes this so much more versatile
 

Silverfisher

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Your help has been appreciated David and glad you like the reports ??

And yes I’m sure there is more to come roach wise. If I could even just get a session in without the flipping wind I’m sure I could catch maybe 20% more with the odd bigger fish due to the easier presentation and striking alone. Good thing about the old channel is that is is very quiet people wise. There’s never any swimmers or boats and you generally only see a handful of walkers across both banks in a session so I’m sure that lack of disturbance plus this particular swim being very roachy helps with the good results.
 

IanG1

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Nice write up pal, I love a good bag of roach, stick float being my method of choice up here on the Trent. They have switched to the seed earlier this year than normal and I've had a few nice sessions. I like to start on caster for first hour feeding hemp but not tares. Then onto hemp on the hook and if they respond and the stamp is good I then try a tare which is normally make or break for the session
They either have it and your into a better stamp and a cracking day or nothing and back to hemp/caster. My idea of fishing heaven when that reassuring clunk on the strike and a lovely bend in the rod (an old amophous whisker stick rod being my favourite tool of choice.)
 

Silverfisher

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Thanks mate glad you enjoyed it :)

And yeah can’t beat a good bag of roach. July is when they always come on here. It is quite early to be doing this well on hemp as a whole but you can generally get them on it this early in the particularly roachy swims, it’s just a few weeks later before it works everywhere. You’re right that once they get to the sort of stamp I’ve been having they don’t half pull on a light float rod. In this swim in particular they fight like demons for some reason. It’s not that quick but guess it’s a reasonable depth and is probably really well oxygenated given the weir is within earshot.
 

Silverfisher

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Thanks ??

And yes indeed, not much beats a good river roach day for me. They’re a lovely fish that take a bit of catching in numbers at a decent stamp which makes it all the more rewarding when you get amongst them :)
 

Silverfisher

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Well after yesterday’s great successful session I had another go today and differing conditions/location saw the highs of yesterday come back down to earth!

Was a bit late getting there for one reason or another which saw the best swim and the next best one taken so I ended up in the one I fished last month. Its not a bad swim just very exposed so it copped all the wind that I and the river had been fairly sheltered from in yesterday’s swim. After 10 bleak in half an hour on maggot I switched to hemp and fought a losing battle with the wind for 3 hours for just 10 roach before I gave in and had an hour on the feeder with bread for one missed bite before packing up.

You win some you loose some I guess but can’t say I’m too bothered as I’m still buzzing off yesterday’s success. Just shows how good that swim is as don’t think the wind was much better yesterday it’s just a much more sheltered, easier to fish and more roachy swim.

Not looking great weather again the next few days but I’ll almost certainly be out for another session before the weekend and at least the few roach I had today were decent again.
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MarkW

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Some lovely roach fishing and better than I'm finding at the moment. I'm hoping to fish the Thames again later this summer.

I think what David White and myself are trying to nudge you into doing is to mix it up a little. Your set-up works but by trying different floats, line (try 2lb main), shotting, hook links (go finer) and hooks (20s for hemp, 16 for tares, trying tying your own), baiting strategies ( I wouldn't even take maggots!), you may see an improvement in your results. I'm starting to experiment with fluorocarbon hook links - I've used them before but not in the finer breaking strains - and yesterday I tried tares on the Hants. Avon, a first for me despite fishing the river since 1976. I didn't catch much yesterday but I did get three net roach to 12oz, made loads of mistakes and got a feel for likely swims.
 

Silverfisher

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Thanks mark.

It has indeed started fishing quite well now in the right spots. Roach bags are still quite Peggy on the matches so don’t think they are on it properly everywhere yet but this swim and from I’ve heard a couple more are producing the goods. It’s obviously completely different circumstances but Monday’s bag would have beat the two best roach catches in the matches so far if my guestimates on weights are fairly accurate. Hopefully you get a chance to come up and fish it soon ??

I probably do need to tinker with stuff more on the days it doesn’t work as well as it did on Monday. I’m just a bit stuck in my ways especially when I have a good day as I then tend to stick to it probably a bit too much lol. I’m out of spools for lighter mainline atm but have ordered some lighter hooks/hook lengths to try when it’s harder. I guess with hemp you don’t have to worry about bigger fish so can fish lighter whereas when I fish maggots some big perch and decent bream and chub get involved so you need a bit note leeway. On the float front a 1g would normally be sufficient for the swim I’ve been doing well in. Problem is it’s just so windy at the moment that I feel the need to use the 1.5g to have any sort of control. Shotting wise I did try all sorts of fancy stuff initially. However on the couple good sessions I’ve had I’ve literally just used a No8 above the hook length to fish on the drop like I would for maggots on a Stillwater as not many bites have come hard on the bottom on the good days. They’ve more come just before or just after the dropper takes effect with more up in the water than hard on the deck. As to taking maggots I only really do it to give me something to do whilst I’m prime the swim with hemp for that first half an hour ish. And in case things don’t go to plan and I have to chuck a feeder out!
 
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david white

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@Silverfisher
As Mark has suggested try leaving the maggots at home, not using them at all can, note the use of can, prime a roach swim far better, indeed I often feed a roach line with hemp and the odd tare for a good hour before trying it ( often fishing a feeder ( downstream and across towards the far bank to avoid bring hooked fish back through the roach swim, usually fished a ground bait feeder with worm or corn any fish is a bonus prime intention is to feed the roach line )

I’m beginning to talk myself into a revisit to some of my old Thames venues ( shame it’s 240 odd miles away )
 

warrington63

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After taking the weekend off I was back on the Thames in my new favourite swim on the old sandford old channel today and today was the day I finally cracked it with a good bag of mostly good roach. I had easily my best session of the season so far and to be honest it was my best session in terms of enjoyment and sense of achievement since I’ve been on the forum.

I started on maggot at about 8 and it didn’t take long to get to 10 bleak like usual. I switched to hemp at 8.30 and fished it up until I all but ran out of it at 2.30. In that time I had 56 good stamp roach along with 8 reasonable dace and what I think was a decent silver bream plus another 5 bleak. Everything was of a good enough average size that it probably equated to somewhere in the region on 16-17lb. It was pretty windy again for large parts of the session which did make things a bit awkward presentation and hitting bites wise so with more favourable weather I’m sure I could have done 20lb. I’m not at all bothered about that though as it was just a great session that exceeded my expectations for sure.

It was my best river roach catch in a few years so I left very satisfied indeed. Not much beats a good bag of trotted for good stamp roach for me so I’m feeling pretty happy now as I write this. It’s been great fun learning how to catch them on hemp again after not doing it for a few years before this season. The current situation has helped in that its let me spend much more time on the river than usual but I’d also like to thank those on here that have given me tips on hemp fishing those people being the likes of @david white @NoCarpPlease and @MarkW to name just a few.

All fish were caught on the usual 13ft Drennan acolyte ultra float rod paired with the Drennan 7 series 3000 float reel loaded with 3lb maxima to a 1.5g Drennan loaded crystal insert to a size 18 to 2.5lb Drennan silverfish hook to nylon. The initial burst of bleak were on single red maggot but the rest of the fish were on a single grain of hemp over a loose feed of just hemp with the very occasional pinch of maggots. I fished two lines with one being about a quarter to a third of the way across stream set to trip the bottom in about 6ft of water and one midstream set up just off the bottom in ever so slightly deeper water. The vast majority of the fish in the morning came on the close line with just about the majority of those in the afternoon coming from midstream.

All in all it really was a great day and one that I’ll remember for a long time. Another plus was that it was the 12th session I’ve had so far on my £12 season ticket so I’ve got it down to £1 a session comfortably within a month lol! Only slight downer was the that my grandad hid at home from the wind today so he missed out on the bagging up. He’s coming with me again tomorrow though although not sure where we’ll go. I’m possibly ready for a change now I’ve cracked sandford but I’m happy to have another go if he wants to try crack it himself!

Couple swim pics for you showing the contrast from start to end of the session plus a selection of the roach to show the size range/stamp.
1594049375392.jpeg
1594049414476.jpeg
1594049501526.jpeg
1594049515058.jpeg
1594049528373.jpeg
1594049542015.jpeg
1594049559048.jpeg
1594049578856.jpeg
Which is the old channel,? I park on pub car park and go over the lock, I turned right once over the lock and walked up to large weir,
Prior to that I walked passed where I turned to Sandford lane ,? And over a style like fence and walked to weir that way. Both places had good looking swims in them. Not fished yet.
 

warrington63

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@Silverfisher is the flow still suitable for the pole ? May go and have another walk along it before weekend, Am itching to try out 15'-17' Aspire I bought as well.
 
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