The April fly trip for Fishability UK took us up the M40 to Farmoor reservoirs, run by Thames Water, 5 miles west of Oxford.
We had been hoping for some warmer springlike weather during April, and as it transpired, this was the last cold day of winter, seen out by a warm front coming up from the south giving us a rainy conclusion to today’s proceedings.
The day was very kindly sponsored by Rohde and Schwarz Ltd of Fleet, Hants, who supply electronics to (amongst others) the Ministry of Defence, working particularly closely with the RAF, who kindly contributed the guiding pool from local Brize Norton and the Greylags flyfishing team.
A hearty breakfast bap greeted all participants in the Sailing Club, and after a briefing from Phil Gilham, and a splash of kit from Wychwood and the rangers, we headed for the water.
Farmoor is a concrete bowl, quite deep, and with this year’s very cold water, the fish were intent on staying well down in the water. The persistent easterly of recent weeks has kept the lower clayey depths agitated with bloodworm coming off the floor, and plenty for the fish to feed on. Hi-D lines were the most reliable, with boats anchoring up for best effect.
Hatches of small black buzzer kept going all day in 10-12c but painfully few fish ventured through to the surface to take advantage. Boats found it tough going, whilst bank anglers probably fared a little better, but generally fish were hard to come by. I think we mustered 10 fish from assembled guides and veterans, mostly before a sumptuous buffet lunch superbly laid on by Gill in the canteen. Weather deteriorated after scoff, the wind increased, and by 5pm and cakes, it was time to award prizes, take some team pics and head off.
Sincere thanks to Phil Gilham and his team of excellent guides, Thames Water and their staff for being most accomodating on a brilliant day out, and for the guides coming up from the Surrey area to help out too.
Achievements today – nice 5 pounder for Paul Daglish, and also, an excellent brace for Alan Auckland, who hadn’t cast a fly line until January this year.
Next up for Fishability UKfly anglers:
Sat 18th May – Fly Casting and Fly Dressing Workshop – Tyrwhitt House GU22 0BX
Mon 3rd June – Tying and Fishing the Mayfly – Vale End, Albury GU5 9BE – from 5pm