Bailey Payne

Exploration of the Roding

With the scorching weather we have had this week and weekend, I decided to give my usual Saturday Fish a miss, the weather was 30c and it’s been dry for a while so Rivers would’ve been low and I don’t think many places would’ve Fished well, and I didn’t fancy heatstroke!

However, I recently convinced my Dad to join the stretch of the Roding I am a member of, and thought it would be nice just to have a stroll along the stretches, seeing if we could see any Chub sunbathing and get out the house while it was cool. Now, you are probably thinking, why didn’t you bring a Rod if you went? Well, I wish I did! However, never had the time before to walk the full stretch of River, so thought it was a good chance to map it, and not get distracted in one swim for a while! As you guys have seen from previous posts, I Fished the Roding a few times last November, however didn’t explore much and managed two small Chub, so wanted to walk it all and see if I could find any bigger ones!

This was a perfect opportunity to continue my “Exploration Of” series, in a previous post I done Exploration of the Wid (, thought this would be a nice chance to do another and talk about the scenery of the Roding a bit!

We started on the bottom stretch, and were greeted by a field of long grass and nettles, was a smart choice to wear shorts! We first walked to the small bridge to be able to look down and see how much water was in the River, it looked at least a foot lower than normal! Both ways along the River looked untouched for a while, and a small path of those who braved it before us was left, knee high grass and nettles attacking our shins it wasn’t long before we arrived at our first bit of access to the River, I was shocked to see how many lily’s were covering the River on this stretch, first time I have seen this part since the winter! Half wish I had a photo of the grass! We spent a while observing this swim, and watching the fry swim around, hoping to see something burst into the small pack of fry, however, nothing did. Although one hungry Chub, of maybe around a pound, started trying to eat some of the small duck weed on the surface, and on surfacing noticed us peering at him and soon spooked under the safety of the pads.

After some rest bite from battling the nettles, we decided to move on and find the next swim, this is a place I had previously caught Chub and missed bites during the winter, so I knew they liked to be here, this swim was the featured photo, and in entering to look, with the sun before us, we instantly spooked another, bigger, Chub. We stayed to see if he would be back if we hid, watching more fry move around the pads, and a few splashes both left and right, we knew there were a few Chub around, mouthing at the duck weed still. Was a good sign to see this big Chub, this all reassured me of how hard this River will be, the Chub are so aware.

We walked down to a little whole in the bushes leading to yet another lily infested swim, and again, spooked another good Chub. really was a promising sign seeing and spooking so many. Noticed a lot of 8-10oz smaller Chub swimming around as too, which hopefully will be back in the winter for a nice bite!

We now swapped to the other section of the River the club owns, so had a small drive to the other side of the town. The first swim was next to a sloosh gate, and you could really tell how low the River was from this, although not seeing any decent Chub here, you could see hundreds of small Roach/Chublets and other fry swimming around, the odd one taking an adventurous slide down the sloosh gate!

This stretch of the River was more shorts friendly and was a welcome rest for our sore and itchy legs now! Flat smooth ground and no nettles! Was a dream! This part of the River, still having lillys, didn’t have anywhere near as much, and also had a lovely set of bends with trees and bushes providing the perfect hiding spots for Chub.

The next spot was a slow down to a bit of a spit into the River, which walking down a Chub was hiding in the weeds by the spit and spooked instantly! This swim had a huge shoal of small Roach holding in it, couldn’t believe how many there was! Looking to my right I saw a group of maybe 3-5 bigger Chub, all over 2lb at least, they were holding in the light flow of the River, after a while, I think they spotted my head peering over the reeds and they instantly fell back into an overgrown bush covering the River.

We walked down many more fantastic looking swims, we thought would definetly hold a few Chub, and saw the occasionally smaller Chub under a pound. We eventually came to one swim, with overhanging trees all along a bend, and saw numerous small Chub darting around in a group, then drifting in under our feet, was the biggest Chub I have seen in this River, easily around 4lb. It just cruised past us, unbothered by us, and continued it’s journey along the River.

This walk was fantastic to do, and sometimes you need some weather you don’t fancy Fishing in to fully explore a new stretch of River, and this certainly gave me that opportunity, filled me with confidence seeing so many Chub, however catching them is always the harder bit, however have found their homes so hopefully can drop a nice bait on their heads soon!

Tight Lines all!

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