You could argue that Thames Water’s Farmoor reservoir complex is not the most attractive fishery in southern England. There are two reservoirs to choose from Farmoor 1 and Farmoor 2 . Farmoor 1 is a catch and release fishery – a huge bag of fish is often possible on this fishery and the average size is good. I have never fished 1 from a boat and generally fish from the bank at medium range with buzzers. I decided to fish Farmoor 2 from a boat on this occasion – the weather forecast was for light winds and mild temperatures. I also needed a few fish for the table. Hopefully, the fish would be up in the water and there would be a chance of some action on dries and buzzers. Both 1 and 2 are concrete bowls and although this sounds grim the reality is that the concrete surround has weathered into the landscape and the Farmoors are a good place to be in the right conditions. I have never been disappointed with the quality of the fishing.
As we set off from the boat dock I could see quite a few fish rising along the bank – there was very little wind so I set up the Sage One with a long leader (20′) and a size 14 Cinnamon Sedge. Most of the fish were rising just once then going down. In a flat calm you can still catch but the stealthy approach will always be best. Accurate casting is also important and this is where the Sage One really excels. When the wind blows, fish will swim upwind as a general rule so you can guess where to put your fly. In a flat calm it is more difficult to decide where to put the fly if you just see one rise. The Sage One is possibly the most accurate fly rod around, with practice you can place the fly on the mark every time. This is down to the Konnetic technology Sage use to give this rod amazingly fast recovery and exceptional tracking. The perfect precision tool for this type of fishing.
Not long after we started I hooked a nice rainbow – these Farmoor trout are really fit, and it fought like a tiger, taking lots of line and putting on a spectacular surface display. Sadly the hook eventually pulled out but this fish deserved its freedom. The Sage One proved to be a great rod for playing decent fish. It has amazing ‘feel’ so you can really stay in charge. I used a 7 weight Rio Gold fly line with the Sage – this loaded and balanced the rod perfectly and worked well at all casting ranges. Presentation was excellent and the line lifted effortlessly off the water every time. I used a Lamson Guru reel – this is a great general purpose fly reel – very lightweight and balancing the rod perfectly in the hand. All in all a great outfit and a joy to fish with. As the day progressed a number of fish were added to the bag – a variety of tactics were used including dries, buzzers, nymphs, traditional wets and even the dreaded orange blob!
The final bit of kit that I was really impressed with on this trip was the Wychwood Competition Drogue with clamps. As well as being a great drogue that you can position on the boat’s gunnels to suit the precise way the individual boat drifts, it it also very useful to use the clamps to position the anchor rope to allow two to fish if the wind gets up. Full marks Wychwood – a very innovative product.
So all in all a very successful and enjoyable day on the water. We managed to avoid the rain, I got to test some great products and we ended with a very satisfyingly heavy bag of trout.
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