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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Archive for April, 2014

Devon Fly Fishing

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

The car temp said 6 deg C as I drove to meet Lewis and Alex. They’d both been fishing in Wales the day before and caught fish but it sounded like they had to grind them out.

I had the day off and Lewis was guiding, so Alex and I were off fishing. The rain started too. Nothing heavy just something to remind you that the bright blue skies from the few days previous had gone.

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I took Alex to a place I like to fish. It was further up the river and I thought we might stand a chance. There is nothing like a fish splashing at the dry you have tied on as part of the duo set up in the second pool you fish.

It didn’t stick but we fished on with slightly elevated spirits.

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Things remained quiet though so we decided on a change of river and a quick pit stop for food. We ate as we drove and hit the next river.

The fish started to come, but not in the way that makes you think that you have your set up finely tuned enough to fish with the sort of confidence that you get when the trout are really biting.

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We were starting to think about getting out as things got cooler still but secretly, I don’t think either of us wanted to, so we didn’t. We shared a rod, talked and caught some fish.

As we worked up the river I thought about a pool I really like to fish. We’d just fished my favourite one, it had been good to us so we hopped out and walked upstream.

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There is nothing like being greeted by a rising fish, then another and another. The nymph was snipped off and replaced by a dry. We had to make a couple of changes before we got the pattern right but when we did we caught some of the risers and brought some fish up too. It was a good way to end a good day.

Pete

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Devon Fly Fishing

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Toby and I fished together Friday. When we meet up we often decide how we are going to fish for the day and (usually!) stick to it. I can’t always say it’s easy, especially if the fish aren’t playing ball, then guide in me wants to change things up a little but we do stick to it.

Yesterday Toby said “right, dries only” We were higher up a river and thought it was a pretty fair shout despite the day before with D and JB the dry fly fishing sucked. Having said that the sun was shining and I had some dries I had tied up that I wanted Toby to have a go with.

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The water was clear and we could see fish. None were rising but I told Toby the flies I’d tied would bring the fish up. It was a big claim and one I secretly hoped would work.

He cast across to a fish that took a look and while it decided if it was going to eat it a tiny fish came from nowhere and made its decision quicker than the larger one.

Toby carried on and had another. It was my go, I cast into a slight dip against a bank and the fly was taken almost immediately. It wasn’t the snaps I’d seen from early season trout on some other rivers just a good honest, yup, I’ll eat that type of rise.

Early in the season I often miss a few takes and sometimes this early on I am convinced the fish do too. I’m not sure if that is right or not but it makes me feel better about any I do miss.

The fishing was good, the fish in this stream are not big, a 10 incher is a good fish. I love nymph fishing but there is nothing that beats casting a light line rod with just a dry fly and seeing a small, wild brown trout decide the fly you tied over winter did the job you hoped it would.

Pete

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Devon Fly Fishing Guide

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

I spoke to my pal Jim today. We are a month apart in age and after talking through our various aches and pains conversation naturally came on to fishing.

Jim has been a fishing guide for long, long time now but has also taken on gainful employment as brand manager for Vision Fly Fishing. He has worked incredibly hard since taking on the role and the only downside is that it has cut into his fishing time a little. That having been said, as a result of his job he has had offers to fish in some seriously cool places, so there are some big upsides too.

He also said Warren, who he fishes with a lot, has changed his job a fair bit and neither of them are able to hit the river at such short notice as they used to.

We talked a little about how it is fun to fish with a friend, share a rod, some laughs and walk up the river together catching a few fish. Jim had said how he prefers to fish in company. I think part of this is part of how much time we, as guides, spend with someone at our sides and so it sort of becomes second nature and a little weird when we fish on our own.

A quick session of trout fishing before guiding work yesterday

A quick session of trout fishing before guiding work yesterday

I know I like to fish this way with my friends. For me it is just as much as spending time with a good friend as the fish we catch, although the concentration kicks in when we see a big fish rising.

One of the things I have foundĀ  over the years, is to switch off from a professional angler/guide to a pleasure angler when I have a day off. A long while back it wasn’t so easy but now I find it very easy and just go with the flow. I like it.

The other thing I have noticed is how much I am enjoying my fishing. It is probably more than I have ever done before. I find I look for any small window to go cast a fly and even yesterday before work I was on the river catching a few trout just to satisfy what seems to becoming an insatiable appetite for this thing we call fly fishing.

It means these quickly snatched hour or two are often alone but I am getting used to it and really enjoying it. The thing I have noticed is that I talk to myself a little when I make a nice cast, stuff a fish or decide on a change of fly. I guess I must be enjoying my own company!

Anyway, off fishing now hoping to catch the grannom hatch.

Pete

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Eat, Sleep, Fish Issue 28