Seasons Best Thames Trotting Roach Bag

Silverfisher

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After another week of work today I was back on the Thames again for another trotting session. Initial plan was to fish the sandford meadows but whilst it was nice and warm it was also rather windy and my Grandad who was with me again didn’t fancy getting blown about there and instead he wanted to stick to our new favourite medley swim where you are fairly sheltered from the wind. I had been looking forward to a change of scene but it worked out well in the end as I had my best session of the season.

I started fishing just before 8 with maggots on the stick and whilst I had a few fish of proper species straight away the bleak were ominously active for so early in the day so by 8.30 ish I switched to hemp and was straight into good roach. By about 9.30 the wind had got up enough that I was missing as many bites as I was hitting on the stick so I changed to the waggler which fixed that problem. From then on until the session ended just before 2.30 thanks to 4th hook lost to a pike it was bit for a couple quiet spells after boats a near constant stream of mostly good roach and I ended up with a really good bag. Total tally was at least 80 odd roach plus 10 bleak, 8 skimmers, a dace, a perch and chublet. The roach in particular were of a good enough stamp that the almost certainly gave me a 20lb plus bag for the first time this season so I was very pleased indeed! On a side note a couple of the pike were real big uns today as usually they are in the 5-10lb range but couple I hooked (probably the same one) were more like 15lb plus which made for great fun but ultimately unsuccessfully tussles.

As usual all fish were caught on the 13ft acolyte ultra float rod paired with the drennan 7 series 3000 float reel loaded with 3lb maxima first to a 5bb drennan stick then a 2.5 no.4 middy loaded crystal insert waggler to a drennan size 18 to 2.5lb silverfish hook to nylon. This was set up just off the bottom in about 5ft of water on two lines which produced the fish in fairly equal measure pretty much all over the water column as they were feeder really well most of the day. Hook bait for a few fish was single red maggot but most fell to a single grain of hemp over loose feed of straight hemp save for some maggots early on.

Grandad didn’t want to deal with the wind so sat on the feeder for bream which proved fruitless save for a few roach and dace and tons of bleak.

All in all for me at least it was a definitely great session that I really enjoyed. lt was certainly my best session this season and tbh one of my best ever as I just love catching roach and this was a pretty big bag of them for me!

As for the next session I’ve got tomorrow morning free so I might have a quick session then somewhere for something or other. Either way if the weather allows I’ll certainly be out on the Thames somewhere for another proper session next weekend. Tbh I’m tempted to see out the rest of the summer fishing at medley now (still might do sandford though) then mix it up in October when I’m hoping to get a couple long weekends away in on other rivers.

Usual pics of the swim, a few roughly stamp roach and the solitary perch.

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Rick123

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After another week of work today I was back on the Thames again for another trotting session. Initial plan was to fish the sandford meadows but whilst it was nice and warm it was also rather windy and my Grandad who was with me again didn’t fancy getting blown about there and instead he wanted to stick to our new favourite medley swim where you are fairly sheltered from the wind. I had been looking forward to a change of scene but it worked out well in the end as I had my best session of the season.

I started fishing just before 8 with maggots on the stick and whilst I had a few fish of proper species straight away the bleak were ominously active for so early in the day so by 8.30 ish I switched to hemp and was straight into good roach. By about 9.30 the wind had got up enough that I was missing as many bites as I was hitting on the stick so I changed to the waggler which fixed that problem. From then on until the session ended just before 2.30 thanks to 4th hook lost to a pike it was bit for a couple quiet spells after boats a near constant stream of mostly good roach and I ended up with a really good bag. Total tally was at least 80 odd roach plus 10 bleak, 8 skimmers, a dace, a perch and chublet. The roach in particular were of a good enough stamp that the almost certainly gave me a 20lb plus bag for the first time this season so I was very pleased indeed! On a side note a couple of the pike were real big uns today as usually they are in the 5-10lb range but couple I hooked (probably the same one) were more like 15lb plus which made for great fun but ultimately unsuccessfully tussles.

As usual all fish were caught on the 13ft acolyte ultra float rod paired with the drennan 7 series 3000 float reel loaded with 3lb maxima first to a 5bb drennan stick then a 2.5 no.4 middy loaded crystal insert waggler to a drennan size 18 to 2.5lb silverfish hook to nylon. This was set up just off the bottom in about 5ft of water on two lines which produced the fish in fairly equal measure pretty much all over the water column as they were feeder really well most of the day. Hook bait for a few fish was single red maggot but most fell to a single grain of hemp over loose feed of straight hemp save for some maggots early on.

Grandad didn’t want to deal with the wind so sat on the feeder for bream which proved fruitless save for a few roach and dace and tons of bleak.

All in all for me at least it was a definitely great session that I really enjoyed. lt was certainly my best session this season and tbh one of my best ever as I just love catching roach and this was a pretty big bag of them for me!

As for the next session I’ve got tomorrow morning free so I might have a quick session then somewhere for something or other. Either way if the weather allows I’ll certainly be out on the Thames somewhere for another proper session next weekend. Tbh I’m tempted to see out the rest of the summer fishing at medley now (still might do sandford though) then mix it up in October when I’m hoping to get a couple long weekends away in on other rivers.

Usual pics of the swim, a few roughly stamp roach and the solitary perch.

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Wonderful post, nice pictures. I'm using a 8-14 x4 stick at the moment, and the Trent is about normal level. A 10x4 is about normal. Most of the swims are 6' plus to around 11'.
 

david white

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Great write up and a decent session what’s not to like
( I’m not jealous.......honest ! )
 

Silverfisher

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Wonderful post, nice pictures. I'm using a 8-14 x4 stick at the moment, and the Trent is about normal level. A 10x4 is about normal. Most of the swims are 6' plus to around 11'.

Thanks mate was a cracking day for sure!

I only use a stick that big to have a big bulk to get the maggots through the bleak. Once I go onto hemp on the waggler it’s a much more delicate set up as
don’t need much dropper weight then as the bleak rarely take it.


Great write up and a decent session what’s not to like
( I’m not jealous.......honest ! )

Thanks mate was really good definitely the best session I’ve had in a good while. Just roach after roach ?
 

Silverfisher

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Had quick session down there again this morning to make the most of the weather. Annoyingly what I consider to be the best section had a match on (which always a risk on a Sunday) so despite it be a small enough match that I could have gone on the end peg and been a fair way from it it meant I had to venture elsewhere. Given I was short of time I didn’t fancy the longer walk up to what I consider the next best section so just plonked myself on the second peg after the end of the match section which didn’t move a great choice as it was more weed than water!

I started fishing about 8 and as yesterday had been all about trotting I thought I’d start on the feeder. That led to an hour of nothing but weed so I thought I better switch to trotting to save the blank. I again spent an hour doing that and caught a fair bit more weed plus 8 roach, 7 bleak and a single chublet and whilst I’m sure I could have carried on catching that way I had the last hour until packing up about 11 on the feeder. That was almost as fruitless as the first hour on the feeder as I just had a load more weed and a single perch.

So basically 1 half decent hour on the float and 2 rubbish hours on the feeder. Can’t say it bothered me at all though as I had such a good session yesterday that I was happy to just sit there and revel in the glory of yesterday’s session!
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Robwooly

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More great write ups Silver, nice to see big roach bags that don't rely on the keepnet shot when the words say it all, all those pristine fish, The Thames does those big skies too, what could be better (y)
 

Silverfisher

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More great write ups Silver, nice to see big roach bags that don't rely on the keepnet shot when the words say it all, all those pristine fish, The Thames does those big skies too, what could be better (y)

Thanks mate glad you enjoyed it. Fishing doesn't get much better indeed for me at least!

I do like to try sum things up with individual fish pics and words rather than a keepnet shot both in terms of really capturing the visuals of the fish and how the sessions gone. Plus a keepnet is just another thing to carry and not all swims are particularly suitable for them.

And yeah the medley stretch is definitely big sky country! One of my favourite venues for sure.
 

Silverfisher

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Still fishing well down there it seems through this semi heatwave as whilst I was stuck at work my grandad was out again today and had his own comfortable double figure hemp caught roach bag.

Just hope the wind isn't as bad as forecast at the weekend as I'd like another go myself before the summers done!
 

david white

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I wouldn’t despair too much at places like Clifton Hampden the roach fishing could be even better in winter, often a bit of colour in the water, less boats ( and people swimming etc etc ) and less bleak, had some cracking mixed bags on bronze maggot over hemp or bread punch over liquidised bread first few swims above the bridge
 

Silverfisher

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I wouldn’t despair too much at places like Clifton Hampden the roach fishing could be even better in winter, often a bit of colour in the water, less boats ( and people swimming etc etc ) and less bleak, had some cracking mixed bags on bronze maggot over hemp or bread punch over liquidised bread first few swims above the bridge

I'm sure there'll be plenty more opportunities over the next say 6 weeks just can become a bit of a weather lottery after that. The back half of last season was awful yet the season before it was decent so never know what you'll get. At least in the first half of the season unless it's super hot and dry for long periods it's always pretty consistent sport. Plus the weather is never that uncomfortable first half of the season which isnt the case second half.
 

david white

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The weather can be a lottery but if you get the opportunity weather wise the last two - four weeks of the season used to see the roach shoal up in those pegs I mentioned granted the rivers levels etc have to be favourable but trotting the waggler is a great way to keep warm(er) plus plenty of decent winter clothing about these days
 

Silverfisher

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Will just have to see what the weather brings I guess. At least for the next 6 weeks or so things should be fairly stable before we have to worry about frosts and floods.
 

Paul_T

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Ah Medley, it used to be my favourite venue when I used to fish (getting back into it again now, and seeing this gets the juices flowing).

You may find more matches on that stretch as we approach October and the start of the Oxford Winter League (if it's still going) so would be good to find some alternative stretches to fish.

I also used to love Donnington, a couple of pegs above Donnington bridge, but don't go on the weekend as it is a nightmare with rowing boats (sculls?).

David White - are you the legendary Dave White, expert Thames river angler that used to fish with Hayes? This is Paul Thomas an ex team mate. If it's you drop me a message with your phone number and I'll give you a call. Would be great to catch up again after all these years.
 

Silverfisher

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Summer and winter leagues weren’t run this season so most stretches have been just club matches. Medley, sandford, Clifton and Northmoor are my regular venues.
 

Paul_T

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That's good to know Silverfish, in that case I will make the trip up there myself one weekend.

I just thought of another venue that is stuffed with roach, the River Thames at Eynsham. There is a high bank below a lock there and that pound is stuffed full of roach. If you fancy a walk further downstream through a small wooded area then there are some chub pegs down there. It's not a stretch that was fished much (may have changed now).

If david white above is the person I used to fish with then he's the person to listen to/ask. There isn't a thing he doesn't know about the river, an amazing river angler.
 

Silverfisher

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I’m not sure if he’s “the one” but he certainly seems to know his stuff either way ??
 

david white

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If david white above is the person I used to fish with then he's the person to listen to/ask. There isn't a thing he doesn't know about the river, an amazing river angler.


I’m not sure if he’s “the one” but he certainly seems to know his stuff either way ??


Paul
I’m not ‘ that ‘ David White !! sorry !! If I still lived in the Hanwell area ( or even Gerrards Cross / Amersham ) I’d loved to have had a meet up, the Thames and its tributaries hold many many fond memories
( Normark Titan 2000 Abu 501 bayer 1.7lb hooklink to 2lb maxima mainline, Pinkhill, Sanford, Clifton Hampden, Eynsham, the list goes on

silverfish
thanks for the ‘ glowing reference ‘ it’s good to pass on knowledge and then hear that it still works whilst I’d never profess to being an expert I’ve enjoyed years of river fishing and the catch ( pun intended ) word is enjoyed .......
 

Silverfisher

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silverfish
thanks for the ‘ glowing reference ‘ it’s good to pass on knowledge and then hear that it still works whilst I’d never profess to being an expert I’ve enjoyed years of river fishing and the catch ( pun intended ) word is enjoyed .......

You're welcome sir your advice and encouragement has been very welcome and gratefully received! I'm glad I've been able to rekindle some memories and resparked some interests for yourself and a few others with my Thames exploits throughout this summer.
 
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