The roach (Cyprinus rutilus) is caught principally in bottom fishing with the float as before described.
The roach has been termed the river sheep, from his supposed unsuspiciousness of guile, but that can only be when he is never fished for. About London, where he forms a great attraction to a numerous body of anglers, he is particularly sharp; and nothing but the finest tackle, such as a single almost colourless horse hair, will take him, even gut being refused when he is much fished for. A very light quill float and a few sinkers are desirable.
Roach weighing 2 lb are not all common , from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb being the usual limits.
The best hook baits for roach are gentles, greaves, red worms, a plain paste made of flour and water or worked up bread crumb or pearl barley. Of course there are a multitude of other baits which are sometimes preferred, but these will rarely fail if the fish are at all inclined to feed. The best general ground-bait is that already mentioned in bottom fishing, though all sorts of other matters -- as grains, barley-meal, pollard, boiled wheat, &c. -- are sometimes used. Roach, when feeding near the surface, will sometimes take a fly, as indeed will most fish. Size of hooks required, 10 11, and 12.
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