I’d decided that I had done more than enough bank fishing at Farmoor II in Oxfordshire and as the boats are on all year thought I’d try my hand on one!
Now, at this time of the year, this is a Booby water, fish whatever else you want but I assure you nothing, NOTHING is as effective as Boobies fished deep on a sinking line!
I’d set up with the usual, super fast sinking shooting head, eight feet to the first fly, a dropper which held my favourite Olive Barred Booby and on the point a further 10 feet away, a washed out pink and white one. My leader is usually around 8 to 10lb pound, nowt to fancy!
My first port of call was the Lin, Lym, Limn – not sure how it’s spelt- tower. Second cast with the shooting head, I was using a steady figure-of eight retrieve to bring the flies back – bare in mind it takes about five minutes to retrieve these flies properly – I took a rainbow on the point fly.
The fish were high up. It wasn’t big, none really have been this year, strange that, most years you can catch them over 4lb consistently. It was around the 2 to two and a half pound mark.
I kept catching here with some regularity, basically, every cast or at times every other cast! none of the fish were the big one that I was after, so I decided to move off toward the cages.
The problem here is that it’s hard to get close, there are Buoys around the cages and you can’t go past these, so you need a pretty spectacular cast to get your flies near the cages – where the big fish lurk waiting for free pellets and dead fish, they eat the flesh of dead fish on the bottom.
Luckily, the gusty wind helped me to get my flies close to the cages, close enough for me to get a a few fish that was for sure.
I was only catching the same old fish though, nothing special, although I did have a nice brown of around 4lb, these are few and far between in Farmoor.
Stopping for a leisurely lunch, it was about 1pm by now and the day was mostly over, I decided that I’d change over to the little Black Booby, a fly the that fishing legend Micky Bewick assured me always sorts out the better trout on this venue.
I put two on, hardly hedging my bets I know but hey ho!
I’d managed a few nice rainbows after lunch but still a big one eluded me!
I then positioned the boat a little further out into open water, just covering some fresh fish hopefully, and cast out a long line, 50 yards plus!
I gave the whole thing a minute to get down and to anchor the head of my line onto the lakebed, before starting my ‘Rod Flick’ retrieve. This is basically a slow figure of eight with a ‘one foot’ flick of the rod tip thrown in to create some movement down below with the flies.
Half way into the retrieve and after a flick of the rod tip, something pulled back and it pulled back in such a way that the rod tip was heaved under the water’s surface! What The …. !!!
My rod bounced and bucked as my unseen adversity steadily took some line. This was a big fish!
I more or less hung on as it ploughed about deep down below me. Each time I put pressure on it, and I did put pressure on it, with heavy 10ft 8-wt rod, it just pulled back all the harder.
This small tug of war went on for about five minutes before I started to make any head way. I was able to get some line through the rings and start to gain some semblance of control.
After around 10 minutes I even managed to get the head of my line in, the fish wasn’t far away now.
I was shaking like a leaf and willing the thing to stay on as I pulled into it putting a very scary bend in my rod.
I had a quick glimpse of something very big, and very silvery about 20 foot down…. it was coming and it was bloody big!!
A few more yards to go and I’d have him. Soon enough the dropper was visible, he’s mine I thought!
With another bright flash of silver, and a healthy tug on the line and the fish was off! I’d blown it.
Swinging the flies in I looked at my point fly Booby…. the hook was missing!
I’d lost a monster trout and it was all down to my own stupidity. The last time I’d used that particular Booby, I had put it back in the box – still wet – something somewhere had rusted under the dressing and as a result, it had snapped and I’d lost that fish of a lifetime from Farmoor!
Silly, silly boy!
If you fancy a day on Farmoor, ping me an email….