Fluff Chucking at Farmoor

Fly fishing trip to Oxford reservoir.

This was to be my second attempt at fly fishing. I had been thinking about this for some time since my first visit earlier this year and when i was asked to go, it seemed like the ideal opperyunity. I didnt catch anything the last time and hadn't really expected to, although Dave, one of the remaining five, mangaged to catch a single trout. The conditions weren't very good at all on that day, which made casting difficult, well for me anyway, and the fact that the boat was drifting that fast we were catching up with the flies that had just been cast out.

So, would this day prove to be any better than the last i thought. Dave had arranged to pick me up around 6.30 in the morning to hopefully miss the traffic on the way out to Farmoor and to make the most of the light. Graham and Kath would probably follow on later after the rush hour, but as it turns out, they had left at the same time. The run through was clear and trouble free and arriving at 7.40 meant a short wait for the gates to open at 8.00.

Once registered at the main office and armed with life jackets and radio beacon, we drove along the perimter road towards the car park and the jetty where the boats had been bought in by one of the wardens. He gave us a few pointers as to where the larger fish had been taken over the last few days which was around the holding nets and towards the bottom of the resevoir. Another local angler also mentioned that the top end of the resevoir had also been fishing well. On this information i decided to set up two rods, one for fishing a "booby" on the bottom and the second to fish just below the surface. My second trout taken on the "booby"

We loaded the boat with all the tackle we needed and cast off leaving Kath and Graham to fish from the bank. Heading up to the top end of the resevoir, the water was a lot calmer than on the previous visit, and the wind, which seemed to be blowing harder as we were setting up in the car park, was more tolerable. Within 5 to 10 minutes of starting the first drift, Dave connected with his first trout, but lost the fish after a brief fight. There was nothing to come for the next couple of hours. During this time i had set up the second rod to fish on the bottom with the "booby" and had put the fly over the side on the start of the third drift down. After paying out the sinking line which took the fly to the bottom, i placed the rod behind me out of the way and continued casting with the first rod hoping for a fish. It wasn't until the end of the drift that Dave noticed the end of the rod twitching and reckoned there may be a fish on. As i wound in, there seemed to be a lillte weight on the line but no jerky movements you might expect from a fighting fish, until it came near the surface, when the trout woke up and gave a short but spirited fight, especially on the light flexible fly rod.

With the dift at and end, Dave started up the outboard and headed back for a cuppa and a bite to eat. Kath and Graham hadn't seen any action from the bank all morning, but had commented on two anglers moored by the holding nets that had been catching regularly. So after lunch it was decide to anchor up on the opposite side of the stocking nets.

Daves, second fish taken mid depthWith stomachs filled and bodies warmed through with hot tea, tghe boat was once again cast off and steered out to the anchor point. With the anchor holding the boat steady, i dropped the booby fly over the side whiach slowly sank under the weight of the sinking line. It wasn't long before a trout took the booby from the bottom, and this time gave a good fight from the start. This fish was about 3lb and most welcome. Whilst i had been playing the fish, Dave had let his line sink a little further than normal, whether this was intentional, or the fact he'd been watching what i was doing, proved to be worthwhile as he connected with a fish on the start of his retrieve. Another nice rainbow of around 2lb. At least neither of us was going home empty handed.

The third and last fish, again taken on the booby, came about 10 minutes later, another average fish of around the 2lb mark. Around 3.00pm, with the threat of rain, the boat headed back to the jetty to unload and pack up the gear. Graham and Kath had also both taken a single fish from the bank, and so their trip had not been in vein either. Dave and I had only purchased a sporting ticket (catch & release) on arrival, so all of our fish were returned to the water.

I look forward to hopefully many more trips in the future not only back to Farmoor but to other venues as well to further my fly fishing experience. May be even the club waters will prove worthwhile in the years to come. My thanks to Dave, Graham and Kath for their compnay on this trip.

Tight Lines.

Russ