Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Roach Rule OK!
I often get asked by angling friends and also by those who have never fished what my favourite fish is - it's easy. The roach of course. It has taken me a few years to realise that this is the case mind you. In the 80's and 90's when I would drive the length and breadth of the country at all hours of the day and night to get my fix of barbus I would have answered differently. I am as chilled out now as I will ever be with my fishing and get more chance to contemplate and reflect. The roach has given me the most pleasure - as a boy, teenager and adult. The red letter days in my diary are usually associated with the fish of red fins.
The annual bash and fund raiser of the Avon Roach Project is eagerly awaited each year. It is a chance to support those splendid fellows who do so much to preserve an iconic species on an iconic river that I love so much. I have written before of their work which I find totally inspirational. A change of venue this year and very lovely it was too. I had to check my diary when I got home, but I hadn't fished this particular stretch of river since 1992 and whilst contemplating my surroundings over a bankside cuppa I realised I had fished this glide before......there had been a stile here on my last visit some twenty odd years ago and with a sense of melancholy I found the flood warn remnants of the stile post (see picture above). The memories came flooding back of trips with friends, some no longer around, and carefree days when fishing was the be all and end all.
It was fitting that I should use one of my more recent purchases in the rod department. A lovely late 1940's Sowerbutts Roach Master (151 Commercial St, London E1). More of a general coarse rod than a roach rod, but a lovely thing nonetheless. Found by master tackle sorcerer Jason White - he knew that I would be unable to resist. Lovely agate rings, stamped handle collar and named rod bag - I could not resist!
A delightful day - I have never seen so many grass snakes, wild bees, hornets and even a very late hatch of mayfly in temperatures more suited to August. No roach today though. Just a net full of chub, dace and grayling and on the last cast a pike that took my chubling............I'll be back! I won't leave it twenty two years next time.