Thursday, 10 August 2017

Chalkstream Roach: The Big One That Got Away.

 Summer Roach have to be one of the most gullible species when the conditions are right, location I find is often the main stumbling block, over the last couple of months I've made a few short trips down south to hopefully get amongst some leviathans that I know live within a mile or so stretch, over my recent trips to locate Roach I had found the very specimens I wanted and some beyond my wildest dreams, now a summer river Roach is probably not far off of being at bottom weights having only spawned a couple of months ago (roughly mid-April) but these were massive.

 I finally got the chance to fish for them and after plenty of working out on how to get them to take a bait without feeling pressure I took four in two trips with the best at 1lb 10oz, a long skinny fish that come December will be a 2lb plus fish I'm certain, the others were all around the 1.04 mark, I did have the very unfortunate experience of finally hooking one of the monsters on my second trip down and that was only after four hours of tedious avoiding of the small Grayling and Trout that constantly nicked my bread on practically every trot, then out of the blue a trot finally came good and a huge redfin came up off the bottom and sucked in my flake, I became a quivering wreck before the bread disappeared, I could see it was a fish close to my PB (2.15) or maybe even bigger, a true fish straight out of my wildest dreams....

My best of the two trips, 1.10.

......The battle was played very cautiously with every judder of the tip made me even more nervous, I couldn't bare to watch it unfold, I knew I had to get the fish out of the main flow and into the margins where the slack would give me a better chance to land her, after a couple of minutes I slowly began to gain the upper hand and honestly thought that I had now earned my chance to land the very fish i've spent years searching for but all that unravelled in a heart beat and I had gone from nervousness to almost pure elation to complete shellshock, as the Roach came up in the water column it hit a swift bit of current and put a lot of extra tension on the line and the fish bolted downstream with the current and the hook pulled, total and utter disaster.

 I tried to compose myself to carry on fishing but I was far too gutted and called it a day, retribution would have to wait for another day, I was in a fit of disappointment, never have I felt so negative about a passage of my angling before. 


  1. Words fail James. Next time though.

    1. I dreamt of that moment for years, I'd take a 3lb Roach over a 18lb Barbel, 8lb Chub and so on, I was just moments from achieving that, it took me a while to recover from that, but it's lit a fire beneath me to try hard this winter.