Seasonal changes in the roach’s food, habitat and inclination to feed thwart the unimaginative angler whose tackle, station and techniques remain unaltered all season long.
Roach are very often the first species encountered by the young fisherman, but the fun of catching them grows over the years as he pro-gresses from boggle-eyed, stunted tiddlers packed into farm ponds to those deep-sided 2lb roach with scarlet fins and silvery blue flanks —the roach fisher’s ultimate goal.
Such fish, however, are usually found only in rich waters, their size determined by the environment. ‘Reading a water’ is therefore the key to successful roaching, whether you desire quantity or quality.
One of the most important factors is water temperature. During the summer, roach move through upper water layers and take food from the surface—they may even be caught on a dry fly. But during the winter they are loath to move more than a few inches from the bottom to in-tercept a bait. -‘.”‘.
Also important is water colour. In bright conditions and with clear water