With Beardy Paul travelling to Wales, we had arranged a stop over at my place and, of course, made some time to go fishing. I took him up to my local reservoir, Farmoor, which used to be his local before he moved down to Kent.
The weather had been pretty hot and humid recently, so we decided to get a boat. Just our luck really that on the day, while it was nice and cloudy, the wind was blowing a gale. We got there around midday and quickly motored down to the south end of F2, where we would be a sheltered a little from the worst of the wind. We decided to hook up to a buoy while we had a bite of lunch and watched the water. There was a little action on top with trout looking like they were fry bashing. We both tackled up with floaters and fry imitations. I had a floating fry on point, with a pearly pheasant tail nymph on the middle dropper and a claret diawl on the top dropper.
I had a few early splashes at the floating fry but typically Beardy Paul was first to catch; he’d put a suspender minkie on point and was stripping it through the water. He’d had a few follows before finally hooking and netting a decent Farmoor rainbow. His second followed not long after to the same fly. The trout that were feeding seemed pre-occupied with fry and wanted it popped along the surface. I struggled on with a combination on nymphs and a fry imitation on point but they were not interested in anything under the surface.
The action died off later in the afternoon so we tried a few drifts with the drogue. It was pretty tricky going to be honest; the drifts started off okay in the sheltered water but as soon as we reached the full strength of the wind, we were motoring pretty quickly, even with the drogue. I picked up a small rainbow with a black hopper booby but we soon decided to get back out of the wind for the last hour or so.
We hooked onto another buoy. Beardy Paul immediately picked up another trout with a peach/pink lure (bit like an old fashioned baby doll). I decided to try some dry fly tactics with a buzzer on the dropper and managed to pick up another trout on a claret buzzer. We persisted with some dry fly options till the light faded but with no luck.
So, tricky conditions but we managed to bring five to the boat over the afternoon, which is not too bad in the depths of August. The trout, when feeding, seemed mostly interested in fry and definitely wanted to chase something stripped across the top.