John Townsend posts his first blog for the Big Red - we finally find out about Adam Roots OCD and his 'shiny Trangia stove' plus the passion for the countryside the two good friends share…
When the opportunity recently arose to accompany Adam Roots to the lakes he detailed in his “Winters Invitation” blog, I leapt at the opportunity. In some of the most abysmal conditions, we set out our stall to investigate the various lakes. In his spare time, Adam enjoys searching out and finding that “out of the way” mysterious pool; The hidden farm irrigation pond or secluded water. There may not be giants there, but many hold uncaught fish, sadly many, perhaps through neglect or their remoteness, have at some time been ravished by predators too. For some, the only way to tell what beauties still languish in many of these waters is to get permission to fish them. Our visits coincided with probably the mildest the months of December & January on record.
Although unseasonably mild, they too remained extremely wet and windy with a constant stream of low-pressure systems battering the locality with gales. Our choice of swims, to a degree, was dictated by the rough conditions, but in turn, we were trying to cover different parts of the lakes in order, to make the most of our opportunities
Sharing this passion for the countryside and all things piscatorial, when I am overseas, I read the contributors blogs with interest. Adam has a wonderful ethos, for keeping things simple, practical and minimalist. He takes his field testing for Haith's seriously, and always heralds the merits of the products he is using. Adapting the products, often in a more unconventional manner, to suit his style, ie. small marginal traps, scatter baiting around a float. Anyone looking for angling tips or guidance should easily see the merits of the some of the products. A simple example would be Haith's Liquid Robin Red (LRR), as a glug or supplement to a PVA bag rig.
When I first met Adam, I would have to say his obsession with keeping the weight of his fishing gear down was decidedly ‘OCD’. (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Measuring his water to the exact number of cups of tea or coffee he would allow himself during a session. No extra teabags for that guest cuppa’. Rightly proud of a very shiny Trangia stove; Lovingly polished after every excursion, how I would rib him, that shiny Trangia was spooking the Carp. The sun glinting off his shiny stainless bank sticks was attracting the bream….We laughed!! It wasn’t too long before I got him stump up with a brew for me too. I think he always knew if he was short, I would have more than ample H2O reserves. Now I’ve in no way adopted the minimalist approach, frequently loading my barrow with far too many “extras” just in case, but I do see the merits of travelling light when investigating some of the most inaccessible venues.
Discovering we had over the previous 3 decades frequented many of the local still waters at different times. Our bankside hours were spent reminiscing about previous captures and inevitable the sad demise of some beautiful fish as the reintroduction of “Lutra Lutra” (Otter) had seen a number of waters sadly ravished by a predator. A lot has been written as to the whys and wherefore these things happen, but Adam did his own studies and records of affected waters. Even when we are fishing a lake with a reliable fence he will often make the rounds looking for “signs”. The ‘push through’ in the undergrowth, perhaps a trail to a nearby stream or water course. The more obvious ‘Sprait’ stone and of course in the saddest cases carcases or remnants of fish scales. Landed fish are scrutinised for signs of regeneration to fins or other more obvious predator damages.
As the custodian of another small Cornish lake, Adam visits regularly to check the fences and ensure the gates are closed. Working at the weekend to cut back the ever encroaching brambles, and pruning the surrounding trees. I have been very privileged to fish there on a number of occasions, enjoying great company, and several outstanding captures of some very lean hard fighting carp.
Now perhaps to some, I would not have the most appealing job, as it entails being overseas for up to three months at a time. However there is a plus side when I do get home on leave, I then have up to 12 weeks I can devote almost entirely to fishing. Of course, there is still a family life to maintain but 2 or 3 sessions a week is not uncommon.
Until the next time…