Some Very Special Roach

Consultants Bob Roberts and Brian Skoyles recently headed for Linear Fisheries in search of Roach, we’ll let Brian tell us how they got on.

Earlier in the year I was carp fishing on The Linear Complex, near Oxford and got into conversation with the Fishery Manager Chris Blunt. Basically having spent a bit of time reminiscing Chris mentioned the roach potential, two’s and some three’s, some very special roach indeed. Back home, on the phone to Bob, I mentioned the conversation I’d had with Chris and got exactly the response I expected …. When are we going?

It was decided to wait until the Autumn, when hopefully the carp would be a bit less active and the roach could get a look in. We decided to go for 48 hours and following advice from Chris and his bailiff team fished Brasenose 2.  As we set up conditions looked perfect and talking to other anglers there had been some good roach caught. We were both fishing maggot feeders, not my area of expertise, but with Bob’s help I was happy with my set-up. Short 3lb hook-lengths, size 16 hooks fished helicopter style with a 50gm maggot feeder on the end. We had a lead around and found some nice clear spots, time to get fishing.

At first things did not go to plan, we were both catching roach, lots of them, but the average size was about 2oz. I remember thinking if this carries on, (1) We will run out of maggots and (2) I’m far too old to do this all night! Then the action just stopped, from non-stop action to stationary hangers I wasn’t sure if I was happy at the change or not, I was certainly confused.  Where had they gone? Why had they stopped nicking my maggots within seconds of them hitting the bottom?

Suddenly all the questions became irrelevant as the hanger steadily dropped back, and I was attached to a much better fish. As it came to the surface suddenly my mouth went dry, it was a roach and a big one. Would the 3lb hook-link hold out? Should I have used a Size 14 instead of the size 16?  Fortunately, the answers didn’t matter as after a few more nervous minutes I lifted the net around my prize …. 2lbs -6oz of roach perfection.

Bob did the pics and returned to his swim, I just sat there reliving the past few minutes. Angling can give you so many highs and so many lows and this most definitely was one of my highs but it wasn’t over as soon after recasting I had another drop back and a second two …. Awesome!  

Thanks to Bob’s expertise as a chef we had a superb bivvy meal but no more roach action overnight. To make the session perfect all we needed was for Bob to get his two and soon after first light it was in the net, at 2lbs-9oz the biggest fish of the trip. If I was on a high the evening before it was now Bob’s turn to punch the air.

We had loads more roach but not in the league of those lovely two’s. The fish came in spurts, with short periods of intense activity followed by longer periods of quiet. We didn’t mind, we’d come in the hope of some special fish and that is what we had caught. We packed up the next day two very happy anglers.

We’d both like to express our thanks to Fisheries Manager Chris Blunt for helping us sort the trip and to bailiff James Drewitt for his help and advice during our stay. Linear Fisheries is a very popular venue we can fully understand why, Bob and I are already thinking about our next visit.