After fishing spectacularly well for most of the year, Farmoor has struggled a little during the recent hot weather and, for the benefit of the fish, they have closed the catch and release Farmoor I.
Now, falling catch rates in the middle of summer are no surprise and its certainly not a complaint, rather a bit of context to a recent trip. I had a few hours spare one recent Sunday afternoon and decided to nip up to Farmoor. It was bright, sunny, hot and there was a decent westerly gale blowing. These are not normally conditions conducive to feeding trout and so I was not expecting anything, other than a few hours on the water and maybe a couple of splashes to a dry fly later on.
I’d almost settled on some deep water tactics on the journey but decided to take a few minutes to watch the water instead. The water was quite choppy, with the westerly blowing from my left, but there were signs of active trout quite close to the surface. They weren’t feeding on the top but looked like they were chasing fry. I quickly tackled up with a floating line with a claret diawl on the top dropper, pearly PTN on the middle dropper and a floating fry on the end. After an hour and a half of frantic activity, I had five lovely rainbows to the net; three coming to the claret diawl and one each for the floating fry and PTN.
After expecting very little I was more than happy with my haul, so decided to switch to dry flies for some evening rise fun. I shouldn’t have bothered; nothing rose and I had no takes to any of the dries I presented, even the sedge which I’ve been catching bucket loads with at Farmoor recently.
So, all my initial assumptions were completely wrong but a fun little session anyway. I guess it just goes to show that while certain conditions are generally better or worse for fishing, perhaps we should not pre-judge and just go out and fish what’s in front of us.