Seven intrepid fly fishers arranged to fish Farmoor II in a “fun” competition organised by John Pearce. Those fishing in addition to the organiser were Dave Dalby, Geoff Darby, Stuart Foulds, John Gamon, John Goldie and John Reid. Everyone was pleased to see Dave Dalby out on the water again. The weather forecast was for bright conditions with some sunshine and moderate westerly breeze (10 -12 mph) – more like 15 -17 mph on Farmoor II. The advice from the lodge was to fish well away from the bank – the bank anglers were not catching and the fish were to be found in deeper water!

Stuart and Geoff set off to fish about 100m from the west bank where a few fish were showing near the surface. Stuart soon caught his first fish on a tequila FAB and proceeded to lose and miss several more on black buzzer/red Diawl Bach before all went quiet. His partner, Geoff, lost several fish to crunchers on the point but later managed to hold on to one that took a tequila blob. The fish that were taking were cautious and difficult to hold on to – not untypical for August.

John Pearce and John Gamon started in the south west corner on a drift but had no success initially. They observed a “Farmoor regular” fishing a white minkie pattern not far from the shore and drifting by the old boat jetty. He was on a roll catching fish after fish (20+) in fairly short time. So as purists, there was a major decision to take! The answer came quickly – put on a white minkie or even a mini snake. Soon they were getting takes and holding on to the odd fish. John Pearce tied on a silver mini snake (snakelet) and caught 2 fish and missed a few. The snakelet went “blind” when it’s eyes came off but the trout didn’t seem to mind.

John Goldie fished on his own in the boat. He eventually anchored close by the observation tower and changed to a Di3 line and hooked a good fish first cast.  It decided it would like to take his leader as a souvenir.  The “parting company” was at the leader knot at the braided loop.  A better way of re-attaching the leader will be found!  He subsequently caught a smaller fish that was less aggressive. Stuart called him on his mobile to check his progress. So John pulled his lure to the boat, paused and it was immediately taken by a fish. Conversation terminated, the fight was on to successfully land his fish! Yet another example of the “John Goldie” school of fishing techniques – fish as near to the boat as you can, preferably just over the starboard gunwale. With a mobile in hand!

John Reid and Dave Dalby had a difficult start using washing line with Diawl Bachs and buzzers. Eventually though John got 2 to the boat and Dave got one. The fishing out in the main body of the lake was tough with the depth that fish were feeding at difficult to find after earlier being active in the top 2 feet or so.

Stuart/Geoff met up with John P/John Ga near the west shore and were advised about the earlier exploits with the minkie/mini snake. Stuart and Geoff decided to give it a try and moved to the old jetty area where there were clearly plenty of fish moving. The fish, having seen hundreds of minkies go by earlier in the day, showed no interest at all in any lures. Stuart changed to washing line with tequila FAB and epoxy buzzer and caught 2 fish in rapid succession – one on the FAB and the other on the buzzer. Geoff had a few takes but couldn’t connect.

We all returned to shore where (Dr) John Goldie painlessly removed a buzzer from Stuart’s finger and John Gamon collected the prize of a bottle of wine. Lessons having been learned, we retired to the Talbot Inn to conclude the day with an enjoyable meal.