Seek­ing a 3 lb roach at Throop

Vastly ex­pe­ri­enced Andy Lit­tle, a much-re­spected spec­i­men fish­ing pi­o­neer, re­turns to the Andy shares re­cent and past ex­pe­ri­ences to help you im­prove and land PBs.

Anglers Mail - - Front Page -

Mcon­tin­u­ing search for a 3 lb river roach found me on the banks of the fa­mous Dorset Stour Throop Fish­ery just be­fore Christ­mas.

Si­mon Eb­born, the fish­ery man­ager, was telling me about some huge roach that he had spot­ted just be­low the School Bridge, lo­cated on Beat 2.

Un­for­tu­nately, my first crack at them was when the river was drop­ping and clear­ing af­ter rain­fall, and a nasty south-east­erly, up­stream wind made the of­fi­cial air tem­per­a­ture of 5 de­grees Cel­sius feel more like mi­nus 5!

The Stour, the Throop Fish­ery in par­tic­u­lar, has ex­pe­ri­enced a huge in­crease in the num­bers of roach be­ing caught, and amongst them are some very good fish. The roach catches, to­gether with re­li­able chub bags, make it the ideal win­ter fish­ery.

Not hav­ing fished Throop for many years, I went well pre­pared with a va­ri­ety of baits, adopt­ing a lit­tle-and-of­ten feed­ing ap­proach, just to see which bait worked best.

Si­mon said that hemp and tares were def­i­nitely the way to go in sum­mer, but bread, mag­gots and cast­ers are prefer­able in win­ter.

A shoal of roach can of­ten be found be­low an over­hang­ing wil­low tree, just down­stream of the bridge. The river here is nice and steady, with about 3 ft of water a rod length out, which is ideal for run­ning a stick float through.

I started by in­tro­duc­ing a few grains of hemp with bread punch on the hook. Af­ter about six trots I had my first bite, which turned out to be a 3 lb chub, but for a few sec­onds I thought I had cracked it with a 3 lb roach.

The wind was so cold, I had to stop fish­ing af­ter ten min­utes,

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The iconic School Bridge swim, where some big roach have been seen re­cently. putting my hands in my pock­ets to warm them up. It was also one of those days when I could get the float to run through the swim prop­erly only every half a dozen trots or so, as the wind was gust­ing, mak­ing the float skid across the river, ru­in­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion.

I could have used a much heav­ier Avon or balsa float to com­bat the wind, but I wanted to fish as del­i­cately as pos­si­ble, as I’ve been told that the roach here can be quite finicky.

I per­se­vered with the hemp and bread punch for about an hour or so, catch­ing an­other chub and a sea trout, but I then felt that it was time for a change of bait, so I fed a few red mag­gots every 30 sec­onds or so whilst I was warm­ing my hands up again.

Mag­gots trans­formed the swim, as I started to get a bite every time I ran the Andy took a se­lec­tion of bait (mag­gots, cast­ers, hemp, tares and bread punch) to find out which ones the roach were pre­pared to take.

Y

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