Farmoor-II fly fishing

When the rivers are flooded and there’s nothing to do but tie flies, what is an eager fisherman to do? The option of a small water doesn’t really appeal to myself, so another river or a reservoir was on the cards. I’d had a call earlier in the week of a good friend who wanted to do some fishing the weekend so it was a quick phone call to Dean and before I even suggested where to go, he said ‘I’ll pick you up 6.30am!’ Nothing better than another keep and chips angler!

Terry, Dean and myself turned up at Farmoor II at around 9am after a quick pit stop in McDonalds to fill up. Almost flat calm and bright sun, it was set to be  a good day until the ranger described the fishing at the lake as a ‘Drain’. With very low averages over the previous week due to water being pumped in.

Emptying the car of fishing rods and tackle, we head off around the lake to find a likely looking spot to fish for the first few hours of the day. There were many anglers on the east bank, sitting, more or less ledgering their boobies waiting for a take.

Now, this was Terrys first day on a lake in just under 30 years… he had no fishing tackle, no flies and a bit of a clue. ‘They live in the water’ he said with a smile on his face.

After running through the basic principals of fishing sinking fly lines and boobies with T, he couldn’t wait to get out there.

Terrys first cast into FarmoorII

We fished as a pack, 3 of us in a line waiting to ambush anything that was to swim past, if it missed the first guy, the second or third would be sure to get it! Well, that’s what we thought anyway. After half an hour or so Terry got his first pull and I saw Deans rod buckle over, landing a cracking Farmoor Rainbow trout. A few long range pictures and back to the fishing.

Dean landing a trout

By now, the wind had picked up making casting easier and fishing more pleasant. I’d cast out trying my luck after Deans fish and Terrys pull… It wasn’t long before the line went skittering out of my hand and I’d landed my first fish. Next cast, another!

The first few hours were hard, not many fish coming out anywhere. Nothing more to the Welsh trio either, other than a single lost fish.

The far bank was calling, the locals were there and the wind was light… a pleasurable area to fish, not exactly the Ideal location for fish, but it was worth a go.

Now, not everything we do pays off… but this one did, big time. first 6 casts between us, we landed5 fish and dropped 2. My first cast saw me take a double header, a fish of around 2.4lb on the dropper and a 5lb+ fish on the tail. Albeit a stocky, it gave a great account for itself and left me thinking it was much bigger until it was in the net.

I spent a few minutes sitting with Terry after this, mainly untangling his line! But also giving some hits and tips, taking a few pictures and talking to locals.

The stance of expectation

Returning back to fishing, I decided to move to some structure and look for a bigger, older fish with a minkie booby. Fishing the edges, the weedbeds and the structure from the boat moarings. It wasn’t long after I’d left Terry I could see him with a bent rod, playing his first trout. A few pictures revealed he’d hooked a double header! Not something he’s overly used to fishing the river!

Returning to my rod I worked my way around the jetty, casting long and short being sure to work the most likely areas. The fly was around 4 inches long! Anything that was going to eat it would have been of great mass! We’ll you’d expect. I hooked a fish on the hang after jigging the fly putting as much movement into it as humanly possible. A cracking well fed Rainbow which had obviously been in there a long time.

Towards the end of the day, the fishing calmed off – with around 14-16 fish on the bank we’d had a good day between us. Terry hooked and lost the last fish of the day after covering it whilst it was rising. The sunset hadn’t let us down either!

Written by Kieron Jenkins

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Kieron Jenkins

About Kieron Jenkins

Born and raised on the rivers and lakes of south Wales, Kieron Jenkins won his first cap at the age of nine, fishing for the Welsh Youth International team. He has gone on to prove himself as one of the leading competition anglers of his generation, both on the river and also the stillwater scene. Specialising in nymph and dry fly fishing in the small streams and larger, freestone rivers of South Wales, he’s also a highly respected and innovative fly tier. Kieron regularly contributes quality features to online and printed game fishing publications. When he’s not fly fishing, kieron is digital marketing manager at Fulling Mill.