So that’s the first trip to Farmoor, done!
After a break of over 9 months, it was time to break out the shooting heads and Airlite rods along with the flesh boobies and cats. Some of my favourite trips from last season came from the banks of farmoor II. Finding the fish, their depth and feeding habits in a concrete bowl is a great way of understanding water flow and tow.
This year we were surprised when we drove to the lake to find it over 10 feet down and showing weed so very close to the edge. With a left hander amongst us we made our way around to lake to the inlet where the wind would favour the three of us. We spread out along the wall after I re-tied the running line of my shooting head, just in case 9 months of inactivity had caused a weakness.
My fly choice, with it being so cold the previous night, I thought I’d opt for something pink, and the usual, Fenton cat. The pink booby is a concoction of Davie Downies 15mm Translucent fritz (Candy floss coral) and his spring water white marabou. The pink and white suggests fish flesh, I re-call a day when Gareth, Kibble and I caught fish at Eglwys which had been feeding on fish flesh, they were full of it and it stunk! I strung together a leader twenty feet in length, with a dropper, attached via the hends rollers I was using last year, ten feet into the mainline with the point fly being 10 feet beyond that.
My first cast hadn’t hit the bottom before the line tightened up and pulled through my finger. A lovely looking trout of around two pounds in weight with perfect ‘bloom’ in it’s tail. Taken on the Fenton cat, the highest fly which couldn’t have been more than 4/5 feet down. The second cast produced another fish, this time on a count of 10 seconds and pretty close to the head. Much deeper than the last fish.
The Airflo Airlite really comes into it’s own with shooting heads, being able to throw a line further than any angler on the lake usually means more fish. If you can cover more water by casting further the chances of coming across fish are higher. The airlite I use is marked 8# comp special which will cast my 6/7 standard lines and the heavier 8/9 weight di 8 heads I use on farmoor. There’s no better test for a rod than two extremes, right?
I carried on fishing that area only to pick up another two fish within around two hours of fishing. The charity run didn’t help as casting time and space was limited as the runners were passing behind. We’d decided to move around the lake where the wind was left to right for me and Kibble, both being right handed.
It was like switching a light on, each cast for around 10 casts I couldn’t go wrong, putting a few fish on the bank when all Kibble was doing is missing them. I found if I’d let the line sink for more than 10 seconds, the flies would become subcome to weed, with the water being so low the line was instantly weed-bound something the leader and flies in a green slime. After hooking weed almost every cast after I lengthened my leader to over 25 feet, the hends roller made this much easier as all I needed to do was break the joint at the stopper knot and lengthen the leader between the dropper and fly line. This was lengthened to around 15 feet as opposed to 10, keeping the flies 10 feet apart.
It was either I pulled all the weed from the lake in front of me, or the flies were fishing above the weed and around mid water, then the takes started coming thick and fast. It seemed the fish weren’t as deep as we first anticipated with the cold, but once the level was found, there was no stopping them. we ended with over 20 fish, but interest did try up around 4pm as the light started to fade.
We had some good fish in our bag, four or five around the 4lb mark and this one below which was nearer 5lb. A great first trip to Farmoor and now armed with a season ticket, im sure they will be seeing a lot more of us!