A lifetime ago, my stamping ground as a teenage angler was the Grand Union Canal in Slough. Tench and crucians were the summer target but big fish of most species swam in the clear water. In the autumn and winter the focus moved to perch and pike and after a session after big perch I stopped by a bridge to peer into the crystal clear depths. Big perch were easy to spot but on this occasion my breath was taken away by the sight of a shoal of huge roach. The best rig I could muster was a freelined lob, which I flicked towards the shoal. The lob was immediately intercepted by what was by far the smallest fish which turned out to be just shy of 2lb. The others melted away and, despite a concerted campaign, I never reconnected with the biggest roach I have ever seen. 50 years later, I still haven't seen a bigger roach!