It was a cold and frosty morning as Tim (friend and customer) and I made the trip to Farmoor Reservoir in Oxfordshire. After a hearty breakfast, we were soon tackling up in the bright sunshine on Farmoor I. Die 7 sinking lines were selected, Tim chose to fish boobies and I was soon casting damsels. Fish took a liking to our flies straight away and on only our second casts we both hooked in to fish, a trout for Tim and a pike of around 7lb for me. A few more casts and a change of area was was agreed. Tim advised fishing near an outfall on the far side, a good call as he hooked a trout straight away. I switched to fishing boobies like Tim and trout of 3lb 8oz were soon in the net for both of us. The morning continued with plenty more hard fighting, full tailed rainbows snapping up our flies and the two of us took fish to over 5lb! Early afternoon and I decided to change to buzzers on a midge tip. More fish were soon located, hooked and landed, including one of the biggest of the day, an extremely fit rainbow which took me down to the backing on the reel. Great fun! By the end of the day we had fallen just short of catching thirty fish, but we were more than happy to settle on twenty eight. What a day! With many reservoirs opening soon for the new season, hopefully this is a sign of things to come. Information on Farmoor Reservoir can be found at www.thameswater.co.uk/farmoor
Dan and I spent a few hours wandering the banks of the River Chew on Tuesday. Dan chose to fish some of the bigger, deeper pools with a light feeder set up, whilst I tackled the faster, shallower runs with the float rod. Both of us caught well from the start and bites continued all day. Dan really got amongst the brown trout and grayling and although I caught these as well, it was dace that made up the bulk of my catch. A few small roach and a single large gudgeon showed also, before my rod bent in to something clearly a lot bigger. After a great scrap on light gear I slipped the net under a chub of 2lb, my first of the species from this river. A successful day for the two of us, on a river that never fails to produce an enjoyable days fishing.
A drizzly morning greeted us at Plantations Main Lake. With a few last minute withdrawals we were left with 13 anglers to fish the second of four silverfish open matches.
Everyone was optimistic, with conditions improving through the week, we were all hoping for the big skimmers to show and fish hopefully coming to shorter lines. Matches from the previous week gave an indication that a good day could be had!
I drew peg 29 on the back bank which can produce good bags for silvers....and carp!
Peg 29 is set a little further back than the surrounding pegs so I decided to fish 14.5m and baited two lines with groundbait and caster. I fed another line at about 8m with groundbait and pinkie. I also fed lines to my left and right hand margins at top 5 length.
At the all-in groundbait was cupped on all my longer lines and I loose fed some maggot and caster on my shorter lines, I was greeted by two small roach from one of my shorter lines instantly, which seemed very promising......but these shorter lines never improved throughout the match!
I could see Steve Mayo on peg 7 was into skimmers very early on and so was Glen Calvert on peg 38 (the same peg he drew last Sunday which produced a 23lb bag of silvers for him!!!). Both these guys are very capable silverfish anglers and they were both off to good starts!
I continually tried my longer lines in pursuit of those illusive skimmers but wasn't having much luck, all I could manage was small roach. In desperation I tried the groundbait feeder...not even a twitch!
Simon Jones on peg 19 seemed to be enduring the same fortune as me and called it a day midway through the match.
In the last hour I was still hopeful of snagging a skimmer or two but not such luck, I was greeted by a carp off of each of my 3 longer lines to help destroy any glimmer of hope from my peg, Steve, however on peg 7 was still catching 'netters' right up to the end!
Simon Carvallo to my right in peg 27 was having a few skimmers and he and Rich Lovering were locked into their own mini battle for the bragging rights.
James Gunter (Cadbury Angling) had drawn peg 11, a noted silvers peg which didnt dissapoint! He caught a good bag of skimmers and crusians to weigh a total of 11lb 6oz which was good enough for a section win.
With the call of 'all out' I tipped back my 30 or so small roach, nothing required netting so I knew my weight wouldn't trouble the scorers!!!
The results were as follows:
1st Steve Mayo (Maver) Peg 7 22lb 15oz
2nd Barry Fitchew Peg 4 14lb 7oz
3rd Glenn Calvert Peg 38 14lb 6oz