Farmoor1 reservoir has a reputation for producing some "stonking" fish, and it did not disappoint today either !
Today was the 2nd year of the Farmoor1 Bank Singles match, fished by 39 anglers, all chasing one of 3 cash prizes, £800, £400, and £250
Many of the competitors fished a practice day, with some big bags reported, but as we all know, things can change overnight, and they did.
All anglers chose their own peg draw card, and made there way to their first peg of the day. It is always important to get off to a good start, and one angler certainly did that, and that was Sean Brooks, getting maximum fish, and maximum points. Sean is a familiar angler on the competition scene, and he's not bad at it either. Sean likes to keep a low profile, as he seeks to snare fish close in.
Sean keeping low, and watching on, as a fellow angler plays a fish.
The day started overcast and pretty cold, and this seemed to have dampened the expected fish fest. It was simply a case of, head down and just keep on going, as Nik Tompkins(below) found out as after a slow start, took 3 in quick succession.
As I wandered along, fish started to get caught more consistently. And suddenly Sean's rapid start was a distant memory.
One angler who really caught many anglers eyes, was young England Youth international Alex Jaffrey. Alex, just 16 years old, was steadily catching fish, and some real belters too, including this 5lb+ rainbow, which went screaming off at 100mph taking 40yds of line with it.
The match was becoming more open as more fish started to come to the net, including this stunning brown trout.
Reservoir Dog's team Captain Leigh Pond was the 2nd person to maximum fish and points of a peg, keeping Sean Brooks on his toes, both tying on fish numbers after the first 2 pegs.
As the afternoon session progressed the temperatures rose, as did the nerves for those leading the way, as young Darren Jaffrey was still catching rather consistently, including this nice brownie.
As the last hour started, there were 4 or 5 people still in the mix to potentially snatch top spot, Leigh Pond Sean Brooks, Darren Jaffrey, Gary Morris, Alan Clarke - who was going to snatch it on the last peg?
I was fortunate to be near most of the anglers and was fantastic to see them all vying for top spot, looking over their shoulders to see what the opposition was up to. Darren Jaffrey took 3 fish, and lost one at the net, and as Sean Brooks was desperately waiting to get in on the action, Alan Clarke was coming out of the depths and catching fish after fish, securing the peg maximum of 5 fish. Sean was now getting jittery as he lost 2 fish on the bounce, both close to the net !! Was the pressure telling ! Sean, well known for his nymph fishing, decided if he cant beat them, then join them, as he replicated Alan and Mark Miles, who were both pulling snake flies.
Moments later I looked up and Sean was in, then again, and again, then again, but was it enough? Leigh Pond managed one, Garry Morris took 3, and Darren remained on 3. Out of sight was James Rice, whom I heard was also steadily catching fish, so who was going to win........
Well, after all the results were calculated, the winners were announced.
1st Place - Sean Brooks - 18 points WINNING £800
2nd Place James Rice - 15 POINTS (1st fish - 09.35 WINNING £400
3RD Place - Alan Clarke -15 points (1st fish - 11.18am)WINNING £250
4TH Place -Gary Morris - 15 points (1st fish - 11.34) WINNING VOUCHERS
Narrowly missing out was 16 year old Alex Jaffrey with 14 points, and Mark Miles, also on 14 points.
The Winners(L2R - James Rice, Gary Morris, Sean Brooks and Alan Clarke)
As you will see by the joint 15 points for 2nd,3rd, and 4th, then separated by just 1 fish for 5th and 6th, just one extra fish for any of these anglers, would have made it a whole new ball game for the results for 2nd place. A proper competition, where you had to fish right to the very end to win - just how you want it.
Snakes fished on intermediate lines scored well, as did single blobs or fabs on a fast glass line. The brigh sun dampened the floating line and nymph approach for most of the day.
Farmoor reservoir produced some fantastic fishing, and the quality of fish is there for all to see, with a rod average of just under 5 ! This competition will be an annual event, so if you fancy your chances at winning this singles match, then keep an eye here, with Craig Barr.
Cornwall's Dave Johns wandering what to try next - maybe a pastie Dave? And Tim Wellman deciding if a fish wont eat his fly, then he will.......