The Roach, is a handsome fish, inhabiting many of our deep still rivers, and delighting, like others of its genus, in the most quiet waters.
The tackle for Roach must be fine and strong; a rod not exceeding six feet, a line rather shorter of six hairs, and about two feet of gut for the bottom links, a swan-quill float, and hooks No. 11 or 12. The baits are gentles, red paste, boiled wheat or malt. Great attention must be paid to strike quick. In autumn Roach will take white paste on a hook No. 9; in summer snails and flies under water, for they never rise at a fly like the Dace. In April cadis-worms, oak-worms, and small red-worms, the latter especially in windy weather. When boiled wheat or malt is used, choose those corns that are plump and soft, one being sufficient for a bait; put the hook into it, so that the point may be where it is burst, and where the white appears; the fish will thereby be hooked more readily. »
On commencing fishing throw a good handful of boiled malt into the hole, and continue to throw some in during fishing, but it must be done sparingly. A sharp eye must be kept on the float, and the least nibble is the signal for striking. If a full-sized Roach be hooked, he should be played, for it is a fish that struggles much; and although many anglers accustom themselves to a single-hair line, yet when the fish run large it is not always to be depended upon.
Should the water not be clear, two hooks may be used, by neatly looping a piece of gut two or three inches long, with a hook to it, close above the single shot, so that it may stand out from the line. Bait it with gentles, and the lower hook with paste or Salmon roe, and, if the fish be shy, with a gentle slipped into the beard of the hook, and a grain of the roe or paste upon the point.
It is easy to distinguish whether a Roach be in season: if the scales on the back be rough to the touch, it is out of season; il they lie flat and smooth, the reverse.
The most killing bait for Roach is a small white worm with a red head, about the size of two maggots. It is to be found after the plough upon heath or sandy ground. It must, however, be observed, that when this bait is used, stewed malt or fresh grains should be strewed in the place where it is intended to angle.