Thursday, 13 May 2010

Big Brown Trout worth Blogging

Hello all! You may have noticed that this is my first blog post for nigh on half a year. Where did the time go, seems like only a moment ago I was sneezing into a tissue! Since then we have enjoyed (endured?) the coldest winter on record, its still bloody cold and now we have the Clergoron government. Yeah, yeah, Nick, tell us news not history. Wheres the blog been? Well I have been lets say quite busy. Those of you who have visited the shop recently know just how busy as the refurbishment is now 90% there. Tons of stock in too (including new brands Orvis, Airflo & Loop) and just a few finishing touches to go before I start on the next project (or two) But more of that soon, check out my Twitter page as I have been micro blogging away on that for months ... Click for the Nick Hart Twitter Page and I will keep you updated as the new projects complete.

So back to the blog. Of course I usually fill this up with all the people I take out on my fly fishing courses while adding some notes regarding our adventures and the occasional review. More of that soon. But for the moment I have to say that in 2010 I am making sure that I am not only booking out days to spend guiding or managing the shop. Instead after 4 years of growing the shop, raising a family and generally doing some quite crazy hours I have realised that I just have to get back out on the water more often. I had got to the point of rocking backwards and forwards on my office chair a little like a junkie, mumbling to myself. At this juncture I knew that something had to be done and before long had booked in some Chew trips, a couple of competitions, a session on the Bourne, some Sea Trout fishing in Wales and of course how could I possibly forget Farmoor?

And so with a couple of good buddies, James Warbrick Smith and Lewis Hendrie, we descended upon this incredible venue with a growing reputation expecting to sample some of the hard fighting Rainbow Trout which this Oxford based still water has to offer. I could not have imagined for one second what was in store. Rather than bore you with a blow by blow account I am going to post some pictures here and in my next post a short video to show just how strongly this fish swam away. What a great advert to keep those Catch & release sceptics at bay. Plus I have added the press release circulating the web right now. While this Brown was an amazing event and one I will never forget for the rest of my days, in all honesty the Rainbows we caught made it equally spectacular. Super hard fighting fish weighing up to 8lbs. In fact a 4lb razor finned fish was pretty much average!!! In recent weeks James, a Farmoor specialist, has taken them to 13lbs! Before I wear out the exclamation mark key ....

Sorry once again about the lack of posts, there are moves afoot to resurrect my blog but on an entirely new platform, so watch this space. Thanks to those who have kept checking back. Now do the sensible thing. Take a day off work, pack the rod and get down to Farmoor, I know I will be! And before I forget a VERY late happy new year and I wish you an incredible season ahead.

Copy Press Release Circulated 12/05/10

NEWS STORY: Leviathan Farmoor Brown Trout

Farmoor 1 in Oxford is gaining a reputation for its ability to produce grown on Trout of superior quality and Hart Flyshop owner and full time fishing guide Nick Hart has been making the two and a half hour journey from his home in Devon to sample some of the fantastic sport that this catch & release venue has to offer.

During a recent trip Nick hit the jackpot when an enormous Brown Trout appeared close to the margins and showed signs of feeding. Several attempts were made to get the massive fish to eat but staunchly ignored until Nick extracted a Mini Minky from the box of James Warbrick-Smith, a Farmoor specialist who has caught several specimens to double figures.

Nick said “as James passed me the fly I just knew it was the one. I have fished with James all over the world and he has the ability to tie meticulous flies that have “eat me” written all over them. The fish had entered a bubble line created by a pipe running treated water back into the lake, so by using the current I was able to get a really natural presentation of the tiny bait fish as the highly mobile mink fur wafted in the current. Farmoor is home to many species including coarse fish and we had seen several fry near the margins during the day. The Brown could not resist my imitation and without hesitation accelerated and snaffled the fly.”

“We could not control our excitement as I set the hook and line began pouring from the reel. First and foremost I was keen that we beat this fish in quickly to ensure that it could be revived and returned as soon as possible. I am lucky enough to spend a huge amount of my time guiding people and see my fair share of fish but my heart was pumping hard throughout the fight and when it hit the net I could not contain my emotion. What all the whooping and hollering from far off must have looked like I don’t know!”

“Lewis Hendrie, an up and coming young guide was also with us and it was left to him to expertly net the fish. Then by using an SLR camera and our iPhones the two guys were able to rattle off some shots in a matter of seconds. With pictures in the bag we all sat looking at the fish in astonishment as we gently revived it in the margins. The Brown had taken less than 5 minutes to land and was in good health. We were all elated to see it power away into the depths”

Farmoor stocks Brown Trout at around 2lb so this specimen was a true grown on giant that has spent many years gaining weight in the depths of Farmoor. However it is not its first mistake as the same fish had been previously captured at a weight of 17lb 7oz. Judging by the overall length and girth of this fish it weighed every bit of that. However Nick was keen to see the fish go back alive and felt that the extra trauma of recording an exact weight was not worth the risk to the leviathan’s health. In Nicks words “it was just a privilege in its own right to see this fish and I owe a massive vote of thanks to my mates James and Lewis for all their help in ensuring we got a record of the fish. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience made all the better as we were out on a day out together and a fishing moment that will live with me for the rest of my days. This Brown eclipsed my previous personal best Reservoir Trout and I don’t expect to beat it in a hurry, if ever!”


  1. Awesome fish!! I mean damn! on the fly to boot, well done.

  2. Holy crap! That is a dream fish! Amazing brown.