Absent Grayling and Houdini Roach.

  For nearly two years the Itchen Grayling have been put on the back burner, however the conditions were so good I could not ignore them any longer.

 A quick phone call to Brian the day before and we were set, but not before we both had a mad morning  searching for maggots, the tackle shop in Bow was shut as I was on early call-out and wasn't close by for the rest of the day and Brian hacked it over to the local Decathlon just to be told they had absolutely none to speak of. It was all beginning to unravel before we had even set off, fortunately I was getting through my diary at a good rate, so I made the journey over to my local tackle shop "Caterham Angling" and picked up 2 pints of red and white....life saver!! 

 Given the density of my diary my local I thought was right out the window. Anyway, the next morning we set off for the wonderful R.Itchen for a change and not searching for a Barbel which is a nice switch of species because they are annoying the life out of me. This time around it was for the enigmatic Grayling, a species I have done very well for so far this winter, but would it be just as good on this trip?

 The fishing started really slowly with very little happening until the above Grayling slipped up. Within the first hour I was on two....I am still not sure why it was sluggish but as the temps crept above zero the fishing didn't get a hell of a lot better, another five fish to just over a pound came to the net before I had a spell of trout and nothing more.
 Around 1pm we arrived on a deeper slower section hoping to find some more Grayling, not before long however we both caught a glimpse of some Roach and the thought of Grayling was banished, those Houdini Roach were all I could think of from that point on. The first Roach did take a long time to come and then had to suffer another hour or so before I got into my rhythm, the free offerings of maggots followed by a switch to bread did the trick. The next two hours provided some wonderful sport as I did battle with some superb Itchen Roach, the same fish that are notorious at hiding and when located basically impossible to tempt, last Saturday it all came good.

My best of the day!

 It wasn't until around 3pm when I finally connected with a "big" Roach, the solid deep lying fight had me thinking that I had finally come across one of the really big fish and took me a good minute to finally see what I was connected to, nervous throughout I didn't force it and when she did come to the surface and roll over I had an inkling this would be the "one" I wanted, that said, as the dial settled my quest for an Itchen two-pounder continues. 

 A few more good Roach came to the net but none bigger than the 1.14 pictured above, given how poor the preceeding hours were that couple of hours amongst the Roach was excellent and quenched my thirst for some Redfin sport.

1.14 top and then some back up's.

 Best three of the day were 1lb 14oz, 1lb 10oz and 1lb 9oz, one day I will hopefully cross paths with my Itchen two pounder.


  1. Last time we were there we thought we’d cracked it (as far as you can) and made plans to return early the next morning... It took us 22 months to return! Not so long next time I hope?! Also; I totally out-roached you... until the last 2 hours when you handed me my arse, next time Roach Man, next time... :-)

    1. No, we won't leave it so long next time! You did me on numbers but got lucky with the bigger specimens although I strongly believe we need to be setting a two-pounder as a realistic target, get through the smaller fish and hope the bigger ones are still feeding and not perturbed by our presence.

  2. Lovely fishing and some great pike baits ;o)

    1. Haha! you leave them Roach alone :) The next task is to get past the livebait and on to something that will blow my mind!


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