Truncated Thames Trotting

Silverfisher

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After 3 days hiding from the high winds a slight improvement in the weather today saw me back for another session on the Thames today. As the title suggests it ended up being a session shortened by stops and starts with only about 4 hours actual fishing from a 6 hour session but it was quite an interesting day.

Rather than the usual 8 ish started it was about 9 before the first cast as it took a while to settle on a venue. Medley was looked at first but was packed so sandford lock channel was next but that was absolutely choked with weed then sandford meadow was low enough that if needed a landing net way longer than I had so eventually the sandford old channel was settled on. This was a venue I hadn’t fished for a few years and I also picked a new swim to add to the challenge.

The first hour just saw me bleaked on maggots before I had to take an hour out from fishing from 10 until 11 for a conference call. After that interruption I started fishing hemp and within the next hour picked a up a few roach before an absolute downpour around 12 saw me reel in and sheltering under a tree to have lunch whilst it passed before I restarted the fishing about 1 back on the hemp. It didn’t take too long to get catching again and by 2.30 I’d had 15 of the best stamp roach I’ve had so far this season, a couple small chublet, a decent skimmer and about 25 bleak before the swim died. I fished on until about 3 for nothing more before packing up as more dark clouds loomed.

Whilst the catch total was fairly underwhelming it was a very stop start day and had I not had those two separate hours without fishing or feeding I’m pretty sure I’d have caught at least half as much again if not more which would have been a respectable total. Once again it was encouraging to catch roach on hemp again as it’s still a few days earlier than they generally start to feed properly around here and still a few weeks before they generally properly get going on hemp. As I’ve said before trotting for roach is near the pinnacle of coarse angling for me so the couple hours or so that I was catching them was very enjoyable.

Once again all fish were caught on the 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. This was set up to trip the bottom in probably just over 6ft of water. Most fish fell to a single grain of hemp on the hook with few to a single red maggot. This was fished over an initial couple balls of frenzied hemp groundbait laced with hemp and red maggot with a loose feed of mostly hemp with a few red maggots.

My grandad was with me again and tbh I’m not sure what he was farting about with as I saw many different rigs hit the water from his swim. Didn’t work whatever it was as I only saw him catch a handful of bleak and a couple chublet lol.

All in all between the interruptions that did hamper the catch tally quite a bit it was quite an enjoyable session. Will probably be back there with grandad again on Thursday for another go weather permitting but I may well have another quick go myself tomorrow either there or elsewhere if the weather and other commitments line up.

Standard swim photo and what was roughly the biggest and smallest roach which shows the average stamp was pretty decent given there’s not much difference between the two.
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Silverfisher

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Thanks mate 👍🏻Going to properly crack them on the hemp any day soon I hope as that’s the second time in just over a week that I’ve almost got them going properly. At least thats what I’m telling myself lol
 

david white

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👍 another decent day and nice to see some hemp roach having a munch ( soon be prime time too ! ) for the life of me I can’t remember the venue I fished the first time I ever used just hemp and tares ( mate said leave the bait to me and that’s all he bought but it worked and I was hooked ( pun intended ) obviously a lot less bites but some of those roach were huge )
really must dig that old club book out
 

Silverfisher

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Thanks and yeah it’s going in the right direction on the hemp roach, should be right amongst them pretty soon I hope. Didn’t really try it much last year but with all the free time on my hands at the moment I’m trying to give it a go again.

Don’t think I’ve ever just fished a hemp and tares but I remember the first time I was properly successful on them in conjunction with casters. Was 6 years ago in September on the sandford lock channel. Me and grandad had about 20lb of almost all roach with a few imposter skimmers. Hemp, tare, caster and elderberries all accounted for a pretty even share of the bites.
 

david white

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I my book
Hemp, tares, casters and elderberries go together just as Wimbledon, tennis, strawberries and Pims do

But I like fishing ........ tennis I can take it or leave it
 

Silverfisher

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They do indeed, proper classic stuff. Bit of a necessity on some stretches here as well with all the bleak lol
 

adriang

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Is this the Littlemore stretch? So opposite/upstream of the pub (Kings Arms I think)?
 

MarkW

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Some suggestions to help your hemp fishing.

1. Think about using a finer main line - 2lb Maxima would be ideal.
2. Think about tying your own hooks to finer hook links and using very fine wire hooks.
3. Think about what float rather than always the same one. The advantage of hemp is that not need weight down the line to beat the bleak can enable the use of lighter floats.

One last thing; the 'skimmers' may be silver bream - a pic of one would be nice - silver bream like hemp and tares more than bronze bream skimmers.
 

NoCarpPlease

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Some suggestions to help your hemp fishing.

1. Think about using a finer main line - 2lb Maxima would be ideal.
2. Think about tying your own hooks to finer hook links and using very fine wire hooks.
3. Think about what float rather than always the same one. The advantage of hemp is that not need weight down the line to beat the bleak can enable the use of lighter floats.

One last thing; the 'skimmers' may be silver bream - a pic of one would be nice - silver bream like hemp and tares more than bronze bream skimmers.
Some good tips there Mark. To emphasise a couple of them
1. Richie Reynolds (who learned with Pete Jayes so is a bit good at hemping) was using 0.07 fluorocarbon hooklength and super fine wire hooks (Drennan pole masters) when I spoke with him about 5 years ago.
2. John Taylor is probably the most successful angler on the oxford matches in the last few years, specialising in hemp & tares. His favoured waggler is a 3bb image balsa, which lands very light. I lent Him one when next peg about 3 years ago, as he had broken his. He had 29 pounds of roach that day (walloping me in the process) ... although the vast majority were on the pole that day.

obviously those are match anglers who are seeking an edge, but valid lessons nonetheless.
 

adriang

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Some suggestions to help your hemp fishing.

1. Think about using a finer main line - 2lb Maxima would be ideal.
2. Think about tying your own hooks to finer hook links and using very fine wire hooks.
3. Think about what float rather than always the same one. The advantage of hemp is that not need weight down the line to beat the bleak can enable the use of lighter floats.

One last thing; the 'skimmers' may be silver bream - a pic of one would be nice - silver bream like hemp and tares more than bronze bream skimmers.
I'm determined to catch on hemp this year, as I've never in the past.. One question, do you still use split shot? I recall (probably from Mr Crabtree books) that they could generate false bites from the fish taking them.

And apologies to silverfisher for hijacking his thread.
 

MarkW

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Some good tips there Mark. To emphasise a couple of them
1. Richie Reynolds (who learned with Pete Jayes so is a bit good at hemping) was using 0.07 fluorocarbon hooklength and super fine wire hooks (Drennan pole masters) when I spoke with him about 5 years ago.
2. John Taylor is probably the most successful angler on the oxford matches in the last few years, specialising in hemp & tares. His favoured waggler is a 3bb image balsa, which lands very light. I lent Him one when next peg about 3 years ago, as he had broken his. He had 29 pounds of roach that day (walloping me in the process) ... although the vast majority were on the pole that day.

obviously those are match anglers who are seeking an edge, but valid lessons nonetheless.
I'm toying with using fluorocarbon in the finer diameters. I have some hooks tied to some thicker fluorocarbon but need to get some finer stuff. I also spoke to Pete Jayes quite a bit 5 years ago when researching my book on Ivan and he said about using 0.06 copolymers. His roach fishing interest kept him out of the Likely Lads as he never had the patience for bream back in the late 60s and would tend to switch to roach closer in hence his later success with roach but not so good in the days of team weight matches dominated by big weights of bream.

10 years ago my favoured wagglers for hemp and tares were 2.5 and 3BB Canal Crystals which I have very few of now but I've mostly switched to slim home-made peacock wagglers with 2mm hollow pole float tips which are pretty similar.

Yes, I use split shot down the line, ideally just 8s and 10s but on the stick I will use 4s and 6s but not in the last 2.5 ft of line down to the hook. Get the feeding right and the bites are easy to hit. That said, one of my earliest Thames hemp sessions resulted in 300 bites for something like 28 roach, a wonder I've any hair left. I tend to use tares on the hook, feeding a bit of hemp, up to 20 grains. I'm confident enough to just take these baits.
 
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