Bread punch quality roach from the weir pool

September 25, 2019 at 2:19 pm

With summer officially over, entering the Autumn Equinox, the weather forecast changed to suit this week, from sunny days, to a week of heavy rain and winds. A chink of light in the forecast was for a morning and afternoon of sunshine, followed by heavy rain. If I was going to fish this week, then it had to be now, so gathering up liquidised bread from the freezer, I drove to my local river. Dark clouds ahead looked foreboding and spots of rain on the windscreen were ominous, as I squeezed the van into the narrow lay-by. Faced with a long walk to the weir pool, an unforecast downpour kept me confined to the van until the storm had passed and the sun came out, not wanting to start the afternoon with a soaking.

The town outfall was at full flow, Monday, being wash day, filling the river with foam. It was backing up into the inflowing river from the left, creating a powerful eddy that was pushing into my bank. This required a 6 No 4 ali stemmed avon float, controlled by my 14 foot Browning float rod. While tackling up, I put a couple of balls of bread into the middle of the eddy, watching it break up as it was swept into the outfall. Plumbing the depth, there was an even 30 inches out in front, setting shot bulked 18 inches from the size 16 barbless hook with a No 6 shot, 9 inches above it. With turbulents visible on the surface, fish would be nailed to the bottom and I started off well over depth with a 5 mm pellet of bread. First trot, the float dragged under and expecting a snag, lifted slowly to see the rod top bending into a good fish, which accelerated off in the direction of the out fall. Lifting my finger from the ABU 501 spool, I let the fish run, then clicked down to backwind, spotting a splash of red fins among the white foam. Waiting for the fish to tire, the landing net was lowered ready for the first of many quailty roach.

Another ball of feed was dropped in behind the float and I eased it into the foam, watching it disappear tightening the line. The rod bent over again as an even bigger roach pounded away, before rushing off downstream. The hook held and the roach was soon ready for the net.

Most of the roach here have these spots, caused by a harmless fluke disease, that does not appear to affect their condition. They certainly fight hard and fast.

A small ball of feed every cast was now lining up the roach, although other fish were scooping up the bread from the bottom, the float going under each trot.

Several rudd.

Endless gudgeon.

Several small chub.

I even hooked a bream of over a pound, that kited across the outflow, rolling off the barbless hook in the fast flowing water. The bottom in front of me, must have been carpeted with fish, the float usually under after travelling a few feet. It was like fishing by numbers, lower the float with the bait leading, allow it to run a foot, then hold back the float, let it run again and hold back, the float burying at any time.

These big roach continued to come to the net, the high bank needing the full 3 metre length of my landing net to reach them, giving my back and stomach muscles a work out.

Dark clouds had gathered again, the increased wind blowing leaves onto the surface, which collected round the float, dragging against the surface and hindering bite indication, but not enough to stop the float from sinking out of sight. Light rain had increased and was beginning to penetrate through the leaves soaking my shoulders. Without waterproofs, the cold was getting through to my skin, but the fishing was relentless as the fish moved up the bread trail.

I lost a few good fish right under my rod top, bouncing against the rod top in the shallow water, a short pole with elastic being the answer, but I did not have one. For every one lost, I landed five.

This was my last fish, another clonking roach. The rain was not going to stop and it was time to beat a retreat.

The carpet of bread crumbs had drawn the fish into the swim and held them for over three hours

A full net.

A wet walk back to the van.