Berkshire-based David Seaman was out on Hampshire’s River Test with Clearwater Angling Solutions boss Ollie Johnson.
Ace all-rounder Ollie explained exactly what happened: “We felt it right that pike should be the target with fish to close on twenty a realistic target.
“But best-laid plans meant that we were met with torrential rain and breakfast in the local cafe was the destination of choice until mid-morning.
“A break in the weather saw us by the river but the extra colour meant a change in tactics were likely to be needed. We’d fish a pike rod but enjoy the roach, dace and grayling that we hoped would fall to our float fished maggot and bread flake.
“Starting on the millpool at the top, a constant supply of maggots were fed into the crease where two streams met. Float rods set up and first run through for David saw a grayling of around 10 oz find its way into the net. He had a repeat performance on the next trot.
“It was almost a bite a cast for the next hour until the pike float slid away. Unfortunately we suffered a hook pull but took the chance to rest the swim and move downstream.
“Adopting the same approach I began feeding the swim, a deep hole where a sidestream met the main river, and a really enjoyable hour saw a succession of small dace and roach landed.
“The extra flow had clearly got the fish feeding but bites were coming throughout the swim, suggesting the loose feed wasn’t concentrating the fish in a particular part of the river. We were also keen to tempt one of the resident chub or a better roach.
“I suggested we move further down the river to a steady glide on the far side where I suspected some of our free offerings may have ended up. I began spraying maggots and after shallowing up the float David had his first run through the swim but had a missed bite.
“Next trot saw the float bury and the rod hooped over as contact was made, a good fish rolled in the current and we both thought we had found the chub.
“All of a sudden the urgency was to increase as our ‘chub’ splashed under the rod tip and gave itself away as a roach – and a specimen one at that. There were big smiles when the scales swung round to 2 lb 1 oz. There’s something magical about big river roach.
“As the light levels reduced fish started to swirl on the maggots as they entered the river, suspecting dace, the float was shallowed to mid-depth.
“This proved to be the right decision as the float buried and a dace made its way to the waiting net. Any dace that needs the landing net is a special fish!
“A further half a dozen fish were landed with a couple more needing the net.
“The biggest dace went 1 lb 1 oz giving David a fantastic brace, and it’s a dace that I would like to find in February!” concluded Ollie.
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