Gift vouchers are now available for Tuition & Guiding

Testimonial Picture 1
Testimonial Picture 2
Testimonial Picture 3

Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Archive for November, 2011

A clear head needed

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

We had some friends over for something to eat Monday night. Emma had done an amazing job with the food and I’d sort of acted as her sous chef but I often feel my bumbling is more of a hinderance than a help. The food was a huge hit and we made sure we kept the wine flowing. Come to think of it if the wine were a river it would have been more of a small spate.

I’m not really a drinker and can take it or leave it but I do like to sit down with Emma and have a glass of wine at the weekends which has become a neat little tradition.

I woke up on Tuesday with a slightly wooly head and as it was clear and bright a few hours fishing would be the perfect cure.

On the way to the river my truck started to misbehave and seemed to lose power. I got to the motorway and thought do I head to the garage or go fishing?

Not exactly a hard one and after pulling over and restarting the truck it was fine (ish) so I decided to hit the river.

I’m glad I did. The water was in good shape, despite the rain, and for the first time in a while I didn’t need my fishing jacket.

A simple dark hare’s ear tied on to shrimp hook and a pink tungsten bead was my first choice and the fish didn’t seem to mind it too much. The first couple of pools brought a couple of small fish.

Just up from this there is this really nice corner that screams fish. I know there are always loads we encounter but this one is just about perfect. I bumped a fish and then hit one soon after. It was nice grayling.

That is how the fishing went and I continued working up the river catching the odd fish. I even saw a fish rise just the once.

I decided to get out and walk back to my truck which, thankfully, was fine. That was until I got to the hill just by my house and it started to play up again. Apparently it is called limp home mode which is where the computer takes over and cuts power right back so that you have enough to get you home. It is fixed now and was just a blocked pipe of some sort.

We were fed some of the nicest pork I have ever eaten by Jan and Keith last night. Jan is the terror of Kennick and there are not many people who know it better. Keith doesn’t fish but can hold his own in any fishing conversation and is probably the perfect example of learning something by osmosis! Any pork left Jan?

Fly Fishing in Devon Fly Fishing School – Fly Fishing Tuition, Lessons and Guiding

Out of Order

Monday, November 14th, 2011

I was due to pop out with Toby for a few Westcountry grayling and was heading over to meet him when the phone went. It turned out that  his car had been broken into and some gear stolen. He was understandably pretty upset and had some stuff to sort out as a result of it.

I always try and look for the best in people but I can’t for the life of me understand what motivates people to feel they are entitled to take other people’s property. They were probably opportunist thieves and possibly had little idea of what they had taken. I know a couple of the rods that were taken had sentimental value and I am sure people who steal don’t think about things like this, or even care. I think that if these sorts of people are caught they should be made to confront their victims just to see what effect their actions have had. It is easy to steal something when you can’t see the rightful owner but how would they feel when they have to look their victims in the eye?

I was half way to the river and didn’t think I’d be of any help to Toby so I went on ahead. It was the first time I had fished this river without him and it felt a little strange.

The weather was a bit murky and the river had a very slight tinge of colour to it but it was perfectly fishable. I rigged up and tied on a dry and nymph duo style and cracked on. I had a couple of small fish nudge the dry pretty quickly but things went quiet for a bit. I worked my way up the river, focussing on the slacker areas of water and the slightly slower flows. The water wasn’t clear enough to stalk the fish so I worked on instinct and the fish started to come.

I picked up fish as I worked my way upstream. I didn’t knock the cover off of the ball or anything but picked up fish here and there. I spoke to Toby to see how things were going and he had found some of his gear down an alleyway so there was even some good news. He even talked about popping along if he could make his old waders waterproof in time.

It was past lunch and I fished up to where I normally get out but thought I’d try for one more and head back, working on the basis that if Toby did turn up it would be a shorter walk for him. I managed to get caught up in a tree in a really overgrown bit so hopped out and got in further upstream. There was a nice gentle curve in the river and I cast my fly upstream.

The dry dipped and I set the hook. I thought I had hooked a big out of season trout that first headed upstream and then down. There wasn’t much I could do with the fish but managed to keep it out of a couple of nasty snags and netted a beautiful grayling. I managed a couple of pics and slipped the fish back.

The weather was on the turn and any fish I caught after this one wouldn’t have done it justice so I snipped my flies off and headed home. I only wish Toby was there to have seen the fish.

Fly Fishing in Devon Fly Fishing School – Fly Fishing Lessons, Guiding and Fly Fishing Tuition

Wrong sort of leaves?

Monday, November 7th, 2011

I hit the river last week looking to catch a few grayling. The weather in Devon hadn’t been great but there was a break forecast in the rain and so I hit the A303. the thing I forgot to mention was that there was a bit of wind due instead.

Wind doesn’t bother me too much, despite fishing a 2wt rod and I had decided to fish a beat that was a little sheltered anyway. You might think it a wise move (perhaps not) but it did turn out to make things just a little more interesting as the wind was doing one of the many jobs it does. One of those at this time of the year is clearing the trees of their leaves.

The lovely flow lines that bring the grayling food and oxygen were also carrying the leaves off. To be honest, it was a little bit of a pain as both my dry and nymph did a pretty good job of clearing the river of leaves. Most of the leaves come off with a brisk false cast but others try and hang around a bit longer and can make an interesting mess of your leader!

I decided to fish the edge of the flow lines and the fish had similar ideas and it appeared they were staying clear of the debris too. I found a spot that was just above a deeper pot that I could see a few grayling in and had some great fun casting a double tungsten beaded nymph just in front of them and then gently lifting the rod when it was in front of them. I’d fish a few casts with one nymph then change it for another mixing the bead colours too. I fished a gold bead and had a couple and orange one and had a couple more and then a fly with a couple of pink beads on and had four fish. With the pink bead the fish didn’t even need the induced move and just hit it. I even had a couple of chub too that I can’t seem to remember catching on this river in all the years I’ve fished there.

After lunch I rigged up a French Leader and fished a couple of small nymphs. It worked well and I had a good number of fish and had on briefly a real hog that came off. It was good fun though and nice to be back up there again.

Fly Fishing in Devon with The Devon School of Fly Fishing Fly Fishing School – Fly Fishing Lessons, Tuition and Fly Fishing Guiding

Grass is always greener?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I had to drive over the Moor today to get to Plymouth for a meeting. This is the route I like to take rather than working my way over to get to the A38. It is probably a longer route but there aren’t many routes in the U.K. that are more beautiful. The other good thing is that I get to drive over a number of the rivers I like to fish when the season is on. These days I slow down and have a good look and sometimes park up rather than trying to multitask and trying to drive and look at a nice stretch of water. In the past Emma has asked me to pull over and let her drive as I try and cop a look at a nice stretch of water.

Today was a stunner. The sun was out and the water was pushing a bit but was crystal clear and I was imagining casting a dry into a few of the runs and dropping an nymph into some of the deeper pockets. At Two Bridges I took a left to Plymouth and looked back at the West Dart as it snaked its way behind me before heading up to see the pocket water of Blackabrook on my left. It looked stunning. No, not stunning, just too beautiful for words. It was the sort of day that you’d say “it’s too nice to be writing a blog I should be out there”. Sadly it couldn’t be as the season is over.

It got me thinking how bad I wanted to fish there, as I am only usually up that way to guide or fish myself and being there and not jumping out of the truck to fish felt a little strange. It also got me wanting to fish there all that more knowing I wasn’t able to. I guess this is a bit of closed seasonitis but these are the little things that get you through the winter I guess, along of course with the grayling fishing.

Talking of which I got out with my good friend Toby for a few grayling the other day. This was just before we had the recent rain and the water was low and clear. As ever, we just fished together, laughed and caught a few fish. To me, this is what it is all about.

Fly Fishing School Fly Fishing Tuition,Lessons and Guiding in Devon