After a few weeks of colder September weather, I decided to try a day from the bank at Farmoor in the hope that the water may have cooled sufficiently for the trout to be feeding harder. It was cloudy and reasonably cool, albeit with a tricky strong southerly wind.
I started on the east side of F1, next to the tower, so that I’d have the wind to my left. There were black buzzers flying around so I started with a searching rig: heavy buzzer on point, small buzzer on the middle dropper and a diawl bach on the top dropper. After searching the levels with no interest, I swapped the point fly to a foam daddy to see if I could tempt one to the top or otherwise keep the nymphs high up. After no takes, I swapped to a minkie and then a white humungous to see if I could tempt any fry feeders. While there was some activity out in the middle it was too far to reach.
I decided on a move to F2, as they had recently stocked several thousand trout. If it was going to be a tricky day, then maybe I could snare a few stockies. After moving, I kept the nymphs on but tried a FAB and a blob on the point to search the levels and offers something bright. It got the lunchtime and I’d had nothing and seen no sign of a fish close enough in to cast to.
I was starting to think it might just be one of those days or that the water was still too warm for the fish to come close enough to the banks. I decided to break for lunch and then move back to F1 but on the south-west corner where I knew the trout had been holding a few weeks before. I changed tack and put an intermediate line on with a single white humungous. I counted down, letting the fly settle through the water levels and suddenly hooked into a decent sized rainbow right at the end of the retrieve with the fly crawling along the bottom about 3 yards out. I suspect the fish had followed it in and finally taken it as I drew the line in – not quite a hang but the same idea.
About ten minutes later half a dozen or so trout suddenly started fry-feeding on the surface about twenty yards out. I switched the humungous to a muddled-minkie I’d tied, to keep the fly at the surface and tried to cast out as far as possible. It was tricky with the wind but when I managed to land the fly close to the feeding trout and stripped it back, I got follows and takes. Over the next hour I had two fish to the net and loads of follows, nips and missed takes, then it suddenly went dead.
So, overall a tricky day with a small window of opportunity if you happened to be in the right place (I talked to other anglers who had seen no activity in other areas). I suspect the water is still too warm – from previous years it seems as though Farmoor takes longer to cool down after the summer, possibly as its a concrete bowl. However, perhaps tentative signs of an improvement and hopefully some exciting fry feeding ahead.