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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Archive for the ‘Fly Fishing’ Category

Road Trip

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

I have fished it a few times now and have to say I am smitten with the Ure, a river in North Yorkshire. Emma and I hit the road and travelled the 350 odd miles to our friends to have a day’s fishing on what is a great stream. I don’t know about day tickets etc. and am not sure that they are available so I am lucky our friends are members of a club that allows a guest ticket or two.

First of the day

We thought the weather was against us but it turned out to be pretty good and it was fun catching fish on dries and fishing the fast runs with nymphs.

Alan fishes a dry

As much as I love our streams in the Westcountry it is nice to fish some other streams from time to time.

So it was a day’s fishing and we travelled 700 miles for it but I think it was worth every second!

Hope you are enjoying the latest instalment of Eat, Sleep, Fish

 

Grand Opening

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

This weekend I have been getting the latest issue of Eat, Sleep, Fish ready for next week. There have been some amazing articles this month and it is looking a great issue. Keep an eye out for it next week.

Last April and a bit of a mess

Also after over a year of waiting, my fly tying den is now officially open. We had a bit of a mishap last April when the heavy winds lifted 1 1/2 tonnes of barn roof off of our neighbour’s outbuilding and flew it over 100 meters to send it through the roof of our house. My tying desk took most of the brunt of the devastation and I lost a lot of stuff but today I was able to get up there and tie a few flies to mark the occassion.

I decided to tie something a little different, some Stimulators that I will give a go soon and I know they will come in handy for an upcoming trip.

It is another busy week coming up so it has been good to gather some breath, get the mag ready and try the new tying den out. I like it.

Fly Fishing Guide Devon – Guiding for Trout, Sea Trout and Salmon

In Praise of Fly fishing Guides

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

It is the time of year that any full time fly fishing guide will be busy out on the water showing people their rivers or lakes and helping them catch a few fish. Speaking to friends up and down the country it certainly seems the case for them and I am pleased.

Setting up on a mystery river with Chris

These guys I know, fish with, and hugely respect are out there doing it and not, as one pal termed it, “keyboard warriors” hiding behind a PC screen living in a virtual fishing world.

First of the day for me

The real guys are grabbing fishing time for themselves at the end of the day or just in small windows if they come up, and savouring every moment.

Guiding is a small market place and many of us talk to each other. I have been lucky to fish with some of the best over the years and feel very priviledged to have done so.

Beautiful wild brown trout

In future issue of Eat, Sleep, Fish I hope to try and promote the work of the guys out there and share some great, amusing stories too!

Fishing for me, has to take a back seat bar next Thursday and I am hoping that the weather settles, the mays have started to hatch, there are a few hawthorn about and the trout are rising. I love my job!

So fellow guides out there I salute you, hope it goes well and look forward to fishing with you sometime soon.

Devon Fly Fishing Instructor and Guide – Pete Tyjas

 

Devon Fly Fishing

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

I had the chance to fish a sweet beat on the Taw for salmon on Sunday. The water was pretty low but I figured there may be some resident fish I might be able to stir up. I managed to irritate one in the morning after ripping something nasty through a pool. I gave it a few more casts, rested the pool for a few moments while I tied on something more subtle to see if I’d annoyed the fish enough to make it bite. I hadn’t.

The highlight for me though was that Emma, my wife, had come down for the morning as she wanted to brush up on her Spey Casting. She’s already is a fine Spey caster and prefers to fish a double hander for salmon rather than a single hander for trout. That having been said I have measured her double hauling a single hander to 70 feet which is really impressive. There were was no signs of rustiness and after a couple of warm ups the line was flying out across the pool.

Issue 18 of Eat, Sleep, Fish is now underway and I have really enjoyed loaded and reading the reader submissions we have this month.

Devon Fly Fishing Guides and Fly Fishing Instructors

Life is too short

Friday, May 10th, 2013

A few things have happened over the last few months that have made me look at things a little differently. Life is short and it is good to enjoy as much of it as possible.

Taw trout for James

I have been promising for years now that I will do some more fishing and so far this year I have stuck to it and have had some amazing times on the water, sometimes with only me for company but also with friends. I am going to make sure this continues and do some more fishing with my contemporaries too. I do a fair bit of this already but it is a good way to bounce ideas, have a good gossip and catch a few fish too.

Another old phrase that comes easily to the lips is “I want to give something back…..” Well, I want to do this to fly fishing too. It gives me such pleasure on pretty much a daily basis and so it feels only right to try and repay that.

Taw trout for me from Monday

Eat, Sleep, Fish has allowed me to do this. As we often say, there is no hidden agenda with it. I don’t make a penny from it or ever want to. I just think the internet is a great tool for sharing information and ESF is our little way of doing so. I have been so pleased that so many people are enjoying it and something I thought might get 100 readers has amazed us to find that the readership is now well into five figures. To be honest if it were 100 people and they liked it I’d still be as happy.

James fishes the Little Dart on Monday

So the plan is – to continue to love fly fishing, do more of it, spread the fly fishing word and enjoy the company of family and friends. Looking at that last sentance you could pretty much replace fly fishing with anything else and it might still be a good plan!

Fly Fishing Instrucor and Guide Pete Tyjas

 

The name isn’t important

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

I seem to have a really bad case of the fly fishing bug right now. I wake up just as it is getting light and start thinking about the day ahead on the river.

I was due to meet my pal Toby to fish a small stream at 10am. The reason for this was that up until a few days ago it had still been a little chilly early on and getting on the water early didn’t make a lot of sense. Like I say, that was until we had some sun and warm temps too.

I’d been up and at my computer getting the last bits of Eat, Sleep, Fish ready since 6.30am and decided I’d wait until 8ish before I called. It turned out to be 7.45 or 7.47 to be exact. I got his voicemail and left a message. A few minutes later my phone ran and I was soon in my car.

Toby was there just a few minutes before me and we were soon putting our waders on. He said he thought we should just fish dries and I was happy to follow suit.

We walked to the first pool and he gallantly let me have first crack. The water was clear and we both watched the first trout of the day take a look at my fly and eat it.

Tobys ‘glass rod was bent soon after as he had hooked a good fish.

We strolled up the river taking it in turns to have a go at either rising fish or working likely looking water.

We were briefly joined by a pal of Tobys, Mike, who knows the river well. I had met him once before and while we chatted we watched Toby pull out 3 or maybe 4 fish from a run.

The rises were all confident ones that meant some of those early season mistimed strikes were not going to happen. Seeing the fish in crystal clear water helped too.

I’ve no idea how many fish we caught but I think we caught our fair share.

As we got into our cars to leave I have a feeling he may well of headed off to try somewhere else. I hope he did.

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

Back to the Torridge

Monday, April 29th, 2013

I haven’t fished the Torridge for a while now but leapt at the chance when I was invited along to fish a piece of it on Sunday.

The Torridge always striked me as a sister the Taw. To me they are similar rivers in many of their characteristics and they even join very briefly at the estuary.

It was 8 deg C when we started and with little going on it was always going to be nymphs to start with. I fished a pool and had some good solid takes from some keen fish.

We kept working the belly and heads of pools that were the most productive areas. We were both keeping an eye out for any signs of flies or, better still, a rise.

Lunchtime and there was just the briefest trickle of grannom that had me tying on a couple of grannom emergers I’d tied a few months ago at the vice. There were no signs of  fish anywhere near the surface but I wanted to try the new patterns.

They didn’t work but hidden in the grannom were a few large darks that eventually started to come in greater numbers.

We walked upstream to a section of wide, flat water perhaps a couple of feet deep. I saw one fish rise and then another. The first fish rose again, something I’ve not seen much of in 2013 so far.

There was little doubt they were taking Large Dark Olive duns. I tied on a #14 cdc pheasant tail that works pretty well for a LDO hatch and cast it out to where I’d seen a rise. The fish rose and I missed it. Or did I ?

I did the thing I am sure we all do and did one of those rescasts into the same spot. The fish rose again and was on.

This continued. The fish weren’t huge maybe 6 to 10 inches but I can’t tell you how enjoyable it was. It lasted longer than I had hoped and I only really fished one pool but lost count of the number of fish I either caught or rose. When the hatch eased I hung a flashback pheasant tail off of the dry and caught some more.

The highlight for me though was getting the ultimate drag free drift. The river was wide and flat with a rocky bottom meaning there were many conflicting currents that would cause a dry to skate in just a matter of moments. I would often combine a variety of casts to ensure I could maximise the drift which was great fun.

I could have fished for another 40 mins or so but didn’t need to. It felt right to stop fishing and so I did just that.

Eat, Sleep, Fish #17 should be with you first week of May.

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

 

Obsessive?

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

I don’t think I am an obsessive person, not even mildly although I worry I show signs of it when fishing. I don’t know if you are the same but when I fish a pool and I either know there is a fish in there, or I can see one I need to work out how to catch and it and can’t leave until I have either got a response from the fish or better still caught it. This can sometimes take some time and friends I fish with often shake their heads and walk off as I pursue my quest.

The pool

It happened the other day when I was fishing a stream with a couple of friends Peter and Vince. They had invited me up to fish with them on a tiny, overgrown stream.

Fish 1

The clarity of the water was pretty good and when the sun shone you could see right into the pool. I saw two trout sitting there picking up passing nymph from time to time.

I cast out expecting to catch them. I got a half hearted look from one of the fish but that was it. I changed the way I presented the fly, the pattern, the colour of the bead and a few other things too.

Fish 2

Peter walked up and probably heard me curse a few times as I made what I thought was the perfect drift only for the fly to be ignored. He smiled and walked upstream as I carried on. I wasn’t machine gunning the pool with casts or anything and I made sure I gave the fish a good long rest between casts. They also stayed on station which told me they were perfectly happy.

I had been fishing a 3mm tungsten bead on my nymphs and I felt it had been OK depth wise as the fish had looked at them more than once. I decided as the water had a hint of push to it that I’d go all out for some heavy gear and tied on a caddis pattern that had two, 3mm tungsten beads on.

Vince brings one in

I winced slightly when the fly landed at the head of the pool but it didn’t bother the fish and as it passed the two fish I was targetting a small trout came out of nowhere and took the fly. I carefully got it out of the way, released it and cast out again. This time I lifted the heavy nymph as it came to the fish on the left. It took straight away as did the second fish using the same induced method.

I don’t know how long it took but I don’t really care. In hindsight it probably wasn’t obsessive; perhaps I have an inquisitive nature that makes me want to see what makes the trout tick!

Issue 17 of Eat, Sleep, Fish is underway and should be out early May

Fly Fishing Tuition, Guiding and Fly Fishing Lessons in Devon

Warming up

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

I had been dying to tie on a dry fly and cast it to a rising trout. I did so the other day when I fished the Usk during what was a pretty cool Large Dark Olive hatch.

Baden on a days guided fishing on Tues

One of the first things I asked my host Lee when I tied on my dry was how quickly the fish took. I am used to lightening fast fish on the Taw and have gone from that extreme to the other when fishing for NZ brown trout that seem to take an eternity before you have to strike.

Neil on a days guided fishing on Sat

I was pleased that I didn’t stuff any of them but when fishing with a fishing pal James the other day we came across a couple of rising fish. I hit one of them too slow (Usk speed strike?!) and the other too quick. Thankfully James had one of them and hit it like lightening. Good work fella!

You’ll be able to read about the Usk trip in the next issue of Eat, Sleep, Fish

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

Things turning?

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

I had an amazing weekend in Denmark with my good friend Ray (the Dude), fishing for sea trout. We also fished with Alexander and his son, both stalwarts of Danish sea trouting.

The weather wasn’t the friendliest and having just looked over the pictures Ray and I look more like reanimated corpses that weren’t that happy at being reanimated. That having been said, the worse the weather got the better the fishing got and so we just butched it out and fished on.

It was a real test of our friendship that we were wading in some pretty cold water and the waders Ray had leant me (I thought it might keep me under my baggage limit to borrow some) leaked. There was no way we were going to pack it in though and it was a memorable trip for many reasons.

You’ll be able to read about it in the next issue of Eat, Sleep, Fish in early May.

I got back Monday and was back on the river for the day with Baden who is new to river fishing. It was the first time in a while that I didn’t rig up for nymphs outright and we even saw a fish rise towards the end of the day.

Perhaps things are turning for the better?

Fly Fishing Tuition, Guiding and Fly Fishing Lessons in Devon