Wednesday, 1 March 2017
Hardly! The roach you see here were about as big as they got, but who cares. They are delightful and show what fine fettle the river is in as they cover all the year classes and sometimes, just sometimes you may get lucky and catch the roach of your dreams.
It was an opportunity for me to use a recent market find - the Allcock Record Breaker reel would look much more at home on the rod of the same name, but coupled with my 1950's Hardy General it looked just the ticket.
Not a free running trotting reel, it needed more than a helping hand to trot my River Stour glide, but enjoyable all the same.
I was joined at the river by Chris and Merv and a very welcome gather it was too. By nature I am a solitary angler, but these last few weeks of the season usually involve fishing with friends which make them a much looked forward to season in my anglers calendar - Chris nabbed hooks and bait from Merv and I a float - this is pretty much how it goes these days. One of us usually forgets something and all being well the more organised among us has what we are after. Thanks Merv!
A glorious late afternoon that chilled quickly at last knockings saw a slow, but steady trickle of roachlings, chublings and dace come to my float fished curried maggots. As has been the norm over the last few weeks the scene was sound tracked by the most wonderful bird song - song thrush and blackbird singing in perfect harmony.
I was for once grateful of a thick jumper but annoyed at forgetting fingerless gloves and a flask. These early days of bright spring flowers can catch you out. Slight warmth by day and quickly chilling as the afternoon wends its way into evening.
There aren't many days left now before the season closes on March 14th, but each trip will be eagerly expected just as we do for the glorious opening on the 16th June - we anglers are lucky, not only to fish in such wonderful landscapes, but it brings out the little boy in us all, the feeling you get before Christmas and long may it continue.
We trudged back to the cars as darkness quickly descended, sharing our tales of fish caught and plans for the last two weeks of the season, but as always ever grateful for what the river has given us..........and Merv of course for floats, bait and hooks!