Farmoor

tbs

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Bob will advise you and we may even get feedback from tbs on his trip today.

Like you Maruta I'm finding my way there. I believe the conventional wisdom is a leader of around 18' if you can manage it. When I went last week I just fished with a single fly (nymph). That's because I wanted to keep things simple to start. If you can manage it, one dropper is probably a good idea.

No real need for lures as such, nymphs seem to be the order of the day. Likewise, a floating line is all that's required, no need for a sink tip as such.

The experts will no doubt put me right. Hoping to maybe head up there later in the week myself.
In knew you were gong to say that shropshire lad.
I have to say two of us went yesterday and to be honest we had a bit of a mare.
There was definitely no shortage of fish in either No1 or No2.
We had 4 and 3 fish respectively coming on a mixed bag of buzzers or bery small booby’s across the top on a fast retrieve.
The most successful method I saw yesterday was an old boy (local) who used a team of buzzers under a what looked like a huge Polystyrene Float and a heavy sacrificial fly. He was only casting out a couple of rod lengths letting the sacrificial fly anchor everything in the Fish Highway that BobP was talking about. He was litterely waiting and getting his fair share of fish.
As I say I am definitely no Farmoor expert as yesterdays results show and neither my mate of myself would consider we were on it yesterday. We have had days when we have been, but yesterday definitely was not one of them and it was clearly down to us not the fish As they were 5here in abundance. They simply outwitted us, so I look forward to Bob updating us hopefully as I’m sure he will be far more informative than me.
Sorry to disappoint !!! 🙂🙂
Tight Lines All
Ian (tbs)
 

shropshire_lad

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Too far away from the wild places!
In knew you were gong to say that shropshire lad.
I have to say two of us went yesterday and to be honest we had a bit of a mare.
There was definitely no shortage of fish in either No1 or No2.
We had 4 and 3 fish respectively coming on a mixed bag of buzzers or bery small booby’s across the top on a fast retrieve.
The most successful method I saw yesterday was an old boy (local) who used a team of buzzers under a what looked like a huge Polystyrene Float and a heavy sacrificial fly. He was only casting out a couple of rod lengths letting the sacrificial fly anchor everything in the Fish Highway that BobP was talking about. He was litterely waiting and getting his fair share of fish.
As I say I am definitely no Farmoor expert as yesterdays results show and neither my mate of myself would consider we were on it yesterday. We have had days when we have been, but yesterday definitely was not one of them and it was clearly down to us not the fish As they were 5here in abundance. They simply outwitted us, so I look forward to Bob updating us hopefully as I’m sure he will be far more informative than me.
Sorry to disappoint !!! 🙂🙂
Tight Lines All
Ian (tbs)
Hi Ian,

I would hardly call that a disappointment, by my standards anyway.

One interesting thing. The old boy you are talking about "float fishing". He's essentially leaving his flies static, or suspended. The take that I had last time, the one that headed off with my braided loop, came when I was not concentrating and probably not retrieving. Likewise, on one of my previous visits the only action I saw was when I put my rod down to get some lunch only to be alerted by a friend shouting it was being dragged into the water - again, a fly left static.

I'll be interested to see how Bob gets on today as here in Reading there's barely any breeze so it could be millpond-like. Not sure how much that matters in reservoirs but it was the kiss of death in the upland lakes I fished. That said, I never mastered the dry fly.

I'm vaguely thinking about going there Friday. I'm planning on a few visits this year to try and master it. Got to be prepared for some more failure and frustration yet though.
 

tbs

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Hi Ian,

I would hardly call that a disappointment, by my standards anyway.

One interesting thing. The old boy you are talking about "float fishing". He's essentially leaving his flies static, or suspended. The take that I had last time, the one that headed off with my braided loop, came when I was not concentrating and probably not retrieving. Likewise, on one of my previous visits the only action I saw was when I put my rod down to get some lunch only to be alerted by a friend shouting it was being dragged into the water - again, a fly left static.

I'll be interested to see how Bob gets on today as here in Reading there's barely any breeze so it could be millpond-like. Not sure how much that matters in reservoirs but it was the kiss of death in the upland lakes I fished. That said, I never mastered the dry fly.

I'm vaguely thinking about going there Friday. I'm planning on a few visits this year to try and master it. Got to be prepared for some more failure and frustration yet though.
Yes Phil don’t leave your rod unattended Because they will be off with it on a jiffy.
Tje fish were high in the water and were taking buzzers as I said. There was a lot of pi fry about also so someone I think mentioned pearly PTN which would work I ams sure or Something like a Drawl Bach.
As I said I think the low numbers of fish caught in no way was a representation of the number of fish in front of us but more to do with us as fisherman I am sure.
Look forward to you having a Red Letter Day.
Tight Lines

Ian (tbs)
 

BobP

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To be absolutely honest I was glad when I'd had enough today. The place was deader than King Tut. Very humid with a low grey misty overcast which if you read your Tom Ivens is not ideal conditions. It was a case of slog away and hope for the occasional village ***** fish of which I found two.

There was no pattern to it. It was not possible to say that if you do this, this and this you'll be in with a real chance. I had to resort to the ugliest great Cats Whisker with a gold bead head in order to catch my two today. Not something I'm proud of. Very few fish rising, so nothing to chuck a team of buzzers at.

I hate that place when it goes all stuffy!
 

tbs

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To be absolutely honest I was glad when I'd had enough today. The place was deader than King Tut. Very humid with a low grey misty overcast which if you read your Tom Ivens is not ideal conditions. It was a case of slog away and hope for the occasional village ***** fish of which I found two.

There was no pattern to it. It was not possible to say that if you do this, this and this you'll be in with a real chance. I had to resort to the ugliest great Cats Whisker with a gold bead head in order to catch my two today. Not something I'm proud of. Very few fish rising, so nothing to chuck a team of buzzers at.

I hate that place when it goes all stuffy!
Blimey Bob you have made my day a bit as I was really feeling a bit of a let down.
At the end of the day, that is why we fish these places because they can and do challenge us.
If we wanted guaranteed stockie bashing, then there are a number of venues that will charge £70 + odd quid to buy some self gratification.
I will be back at Farmoor again next Wednesday and pit my wits against those stunning fish !
 

BobP

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The only highlight of the day was hooking the first fish which was pure instinct. End of the retrieve and i lifted the rod to let the hideous CW thing sink under its own weight for a few seconds and just knew that a fish had intercepted it. I once quoted it on here as mental alarm bells and got plenty of abuse, but that's exactly how it is. I just knew a fish had the fly and reacted instantly. Got me out of jail, that one did.

I haven't used that thing for 25 years or so. The last time I was fishing with a friend on one of those days at Farmoor. I stuck that thing on and fished it on an intermediate and after three fish my pal was asking the usual question. My reply was, "a little yellow & white nymph." One more fish and he was up to me and grabbed the leader to see. He's never ceased to remind me of that whenever we meet. He went on to win the Lexus a few years ago and we meet sometimes at the BFFI at Stafford.
 

BobP

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Something to think about. A friend of mine - a very good angler - even on the hardest days used to fish for what he termed as a "purple patch" which he was certain would happen at some time in the day. When it happened, and it was surprising how often it did happen, he was ready for it and before you knew it he was three fish up and there was no catching him then.

He went on to captain England a few months before he died in his forties of cancer.
 

JohnH

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To be absolutely honest I was glad when I'd had enough today. The place was deader than King Tut. Very humid with a low grey misty overcast which if you read your Tom Ivens is not ideal conditions. It was a case of slog away and hope for the occasional village ***** fish of which I found two.
Well I'm glad it wasn't only me that had quite a tough time on a ressie yesterday.

Was thinking about Farmoor 2, but decided instead to fish Sutton Bingham from a boat. Heavy overcast all day and quite a brisk west breeze. I fished the aerator line, which is often a summer hotspot here. Fish around but no pushovers. I took 2 nice clean rainbows each a tad under 2lb. I lost 2 more, one simply let go well into the fight and the other deposited my dropper fly in an anchor rope and made off, which was kind of it. 2 more heavy takes and a couple of half hearted ones. To round the day off nicely the electric outboard hired from Wessex Water simply died around 11am so it was "...row, me hearties...". Ivan did kindly agree to give me a refund on my next day there.
 

tenet

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Took a boat with a good pal yesterday - the forecast when I booked a few days ago was good but as ever our forecasters got it wrong so as described above light winds, drizzle, rain and a heavy feel to the atmosphere. We fished initially the NW side and for the first couple of hours got some action to floating line with a team of nymphs with a wet hopper on the point. The jungle drums must have been beating as 4 boats decided to anchor along the causeway spoiling our drifts. Moved to the South for the last hour and picked up a couple. We took 8 or 9 fish to the boat with 2 or 3 taken on the "hang" so don't be too keen to recast and we dropped or missed at least half a dozen. Good quality fish to 31/2 lb or so and the autopsy on the one taken for the table showed it full of small snails.
 

tbs

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Well I'm glad it wasn't only me that had quite a tough time on a ressie yesterday.

Was thinking about Farmoor 2, but decided instead to fish Sutton Bingham from a boat. Heavy overcast all day and quite a brisk west breeze. I fished the aerator line, which is often a summer hotspot here. Fish around but no pushovers. I took 2 nice clean rainbows each a tad under 2lb. I lost 2 more, one simply let go well into the fight and the other deposited my dropper fly in an anchor rope and made off, which was kind of it. 2 more heavy takes and a couple of half hearted ones. To round the day off nicely the electric outboard hired from Wessex Water simply died around 11am so it was "...row, me hearties...". Ivan did kindly agree to give me a refund on my next day there.
The last time I fished at Sutton Bingham was in a Competition. I had beaten the other guy In our boat and very pleasant guy he was too. I had my Fish on a stringer in an attempt to keep them nice and fresh. When we got to the boat jetty at the end of the Competition, he very kindly jumped out, grabbed the rope and was securing the boat when, God knows how I did it, but I dropped my fish and stringer over the side and they sank to the bottom.
He looked at me and raised his eyebrows too polite I am sure to say what he was thinking.
Suffice to say it Rhymes with Roman Moser.
 

tbs

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As a matter of interest, does anyone have experience of fishing Farmoor all year round? If so, what's it like as an autumn/winter fishery?
We have had great days later on in the year and have had some good success particularly back drifting off the boats.
Honestly Phil if I lived as close to it as you I would be there all the time.
 

BobP

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shropshire lad.

You can get some good floating line fishing well into October, and sometimes into November if it stays mild.

Once past Christmas the fish tend to go deep and will be fry feeding or stuffing themselves on giant bloodworms. There are two possible methods;

1) If you can belt a DI8 shooting head 45-50 yards off the bank you can get some good fish on boobies. Not too many people can handle this.

2) Backdrifting from a boat. Frowned upon in some quarters, but if you have to fish 30' down, and that's where the fish are, then your options are limited. Backdrifting involves a DI7 or DI8 WF line with a leader about 10' long and two boobies. Colour of your choice. Snake boobies are quite good. Set the boat broadside to the wind about 10 yards out. Face upwind and flop the line and leader out and as the boat drifts away from the bank, pay out line as the whole lot sinks. I have found that a DI7 40+ line with all the line and backing paid out all bar about 6 turns on the reel generally gets it there. Then it's a question of just holding the rod as you drift. Takes will usually be a series of taps. DO NOTHING. A lot of fish have a swipe at the boobies and go away. Those that want it may go tap, tap, lock solid! Wind strengths between about 8-12mph are fine for this.

Oddly enough, very few fish are deep hooked doing this mainly, I think, because the boat is moving as they just hook themselves.

Not a pretty method, and certainly a testing one when it's a cold easterly and you're facing into it, but it can be a a great method of catching some top quality silvered-up rainbows.
 

shropshire_lad

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shropshire lad.

You can get some good floating line fishing well into October, and sometimes into November if it stays mild.

Once past Christmas the fish tend to go deep and will be fry feeding or stuffing themselves on giant bloodworms. There are two possible methods;

1) If you can belt a DI8 shooting head 45-50 yards off the bank you can get some good fish on boobies. Not too many people can handle this.

2) Backdrifting from a boat. Frowned upon in some quarters, but if you have to fish 30' down, and that's where the fish are, then your options are limited. Backdrifting involves a DI7 or DI8 WF line with a leader about 10' long and two boobies. Colour of your choice. Snake boobies are quite good. Set the boat broadside to the wind about 10 yards out. Face upwind and flop the line and leader out and as the boat drifts away from the bank, pay out line as the whole lot sinks. I have found that a DI7 40+ line with all the line and backing paid out all bar about 6 turns on the reel generally gets it there. Then it's a question of just holding the rod as you drift. Takes will usually be a series of taps. DO NOTHING. A lot of fish have a swipe at the boobies and go away. Those that want it may go tap, tap, lock solid! Wind strengths between about 8-12mph are fine for this.

Oddly enough, very few fish are deep hooked doing this mainly, I think, because the boat is moving as they just hook themselves.

Not a pretty method, and certainly a testing one when it's a cold easterly and you're facing into it, but it can be a a great method of catching some top quality silvered-up rainbows.
Thanks as always Bob. I know it will depend on the weather any particular year but when would you expect the floating line fishing to pick up again, around April?
 

BobP

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Thanks as always Bob. I know it will depend on the weather any particular year but when would you expect the floating line fishing to pick up again, around April?
I've had some great floating line fishing as early as mid-March, but again it will be weather dependant and even in a relatively mild early spring you will have to be prepared to go deep ie 18' leaders, weighted point fly and an indicator at the end of the flyline. That often outfishes the lure pullers.
 
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