Rain means added flow on our rivers and this is when the stick float comes to the fore. It’s capable of running a long way down the swim and searching a lot of water.
The waggler rarely works in these high water conditions, which means a top and bottom-style float is a must.
Highly buoyant and easy to see when trotted a long way down the swim, the stick also offers great control and stability when riding uneven water. It lets you slow the run down to half the pace of the river, or even make the tackle stand stock still.
Sticks can be shotted with a bulk to keep the bait on the bottom in any strength of flow but in autumn when the fish will still be reasonably active, using a strung-out pattern (known as shirt button style) lets the hookbait behave very naturally in the swim.
Checking the float to a standstill will see the bait rise up off the deck slightly, which can often induce a bite.
You can fish overdepth with the stick float in slower water but to get the best out of the float, set it just touching bottom. This will stop the float from being dragged under in strong currents.
Go big! Double maggot or caster is a meal few roach will be able to resist, or you can take a leaf out of the specimen hunting book and use a piece of breadflake in clear water for a real specimen.
Regular feeding is essential to ensure a steady stream of bait is going down the peg. This will not only keep fish in the swim but also draw any sat well downstream – these will move upriver to investigate the free flow of food. Maggots, casters and hemp are all good choices, fed every cast.