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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Posts Tagged ‘Devon Fly Fishing Lessons’

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Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

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Devon Fly Fishing Guide

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

We’re almost two months into the trout season now. I would call it OK rather than outstanding on the Taw. It has been slow to grind into action and has had good days and some average days so OK seemed a fair description. The highlight though has to be the 16 1/2 incher that Lewis guided Matt into the first Bank Holiday of the month. He has fished in Devon a bit and said he hadn’t seen anything as big in these parts which was really nice.

I have fished the Taw a fair bit. I like to because I love the river so much but also because I think it is my job to know exactly what is going on. Sure, each day is different but having a handle on hatches, their times and if the fish are rising or not takes the guess work out of my day and lets the people we are guiding know that we are on top of what is happening.

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That having been said I have already racked up a good number of other rivers I’ve fished this year too. If I haven’t been guiding I’ve been fishing which has been really good fun. Some of it has been alone but most days it has been in the company of good friends. I love nymph fishing but this year it has been fishing small, overgrown streams with a small rod and a dry fly. To me, at the moment, it has been pleasing to cast a fly line and dry fly and have a fish give me the ultimate compliment and eat the fly. It has also been a good testing ground for a variety of patterns I concocted during the closed season.

The fish haven’t been huge on these streams. To be honest, I don’t really care. I’m not a trophy hunter or a numbers man, I just love being out on the water and every day I am fishing a river is a bonus but a big one every now and again is good fun and lets you know you are doing something right if you fool that big old brown tucked away in a deep undercut hole.

The rain we’ve had should start to bring the migratory fish up our way on the Taw. I managed to catch a small sea trout on another river a week or so ago when nymphing with my pal Jimmy. But for me I am interested, really interested to see how the mayfly hatch plays out this year. Last year it was Okish, the same the year before but the years before that have been awesome and I hope we might get something similar. I’ll be hopping round with excitement if I wake up to an overcast, drizzly day the sort that is perfect for Danicas.

If it does play out this way I plan to put sea trouting on the back burner and will fish the spinner fall long and hard even after a long days guiding.

I have my rod collection pretty much where I want it and have been using my pack for most of the fishing I have been doing. I was guiding using a hip pack and transferring fly boxes from the pack to the hip pack which, if you have a memory like mine is a pretty high risk strategy. So I’ll use the pack for work and general river fishing and go back to the lanyard with a small selection of flies for the small stream stuff.

It is coming in to the cream of the fly fishing season and I for one can’t wait!

Pete

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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

The Devon School of Fly Fishing – Fly Fishing Tuition and Guides – Fly fishing in Devon

 

Devon Fly Fishing Guide

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

I hit shuffle, turn the volume up and pull away. “I wanna love ya, love and treat ya right” Bob Marley. Perfect start to the day.

I do a bit of singing along until the song ends and I hear the guitar intro of the Specials “Do Nothing”.

The right song can set the tone and as I pull up to meet Graham in the pub car park I make sure I turn the volume down just a little.

We decide to have a coffee and plan on where to do some bank work. We have both been watching water levels on this stretch of water and they are just below the red area on the EA website.

We park up and get a look at the river. It is pushing but it is not as much as we thought. The water is crystal clear.

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The plan was to cut some of the riverside pathways and some access points too but we rig up our switch rods with the fastest sink tips we can find and heavy, heavy tube flies.

Graham hasn’t fished here yet so I walk him to the top of the water and we walk down to where there is some fishable water (just about) and it is safe to wade.

I watch quietly as he works his fly mending the line as it comes round to the dangle. I watch a few more casts and make my way downstream to find some similar water. I know he’ll find me when he has fished his way down.

I  put another mend into my drift. “love and treat you right” I sing to myself. No one is in danger of hearing my out of tune vocals above the whoosh of the water.

We eat good pasties, seasoned perfectly, and then get the prunning gear out. I notice Graham’s gear is a lot better quality than mine and he makes short work of the thicker branches like some sort of Edward Scissor Hands. I follow up snipping anything he might have missed or bits where I think a net or fly line might get snagged.

We then decide to do a bit more fishing. Wouldn’t you?

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Pete Tyjas

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.

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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

Out there

Friday, March 8th, 2013

It has been nice to get out and wet a line. The weather imposed embargo on fishing has lifted for a bit and I’ve been lucky enough to catch a few grayling and cast in a few salmon pools too.

The river bank is the perfect place to witness nature yawn a little, have a stretch and slowly get things in motion.  Wild garlic, daffodils and snowdrops are about and I have seen the odd large dark olive and witnessed today a really big hatch of midges. There are lots of other things too but for some reason at this time of the year I always keep a note of these little events. I guess it coincides with the start of the trout season.

On Wednesday I was armed with nymphs and caught a majority of grayling that way but later on I came across a little pool with a few rising fish. I was fishing my nymph leader and despite the fact I tied on a dry, an F fly, (with a shuck) and caught a couple. That was enough for me and again another milestone in waving goodbye to winter.

Issue 15 of Eat, Sleep, Fish is now out. I hope you enjoy it.

Devon School of Fly Fishing – Fly Fishing in Devon

Fly fishing in Devon

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The weather is all sort of mixed up still. When we drove up to meet Jim and Ian the other day there were daffodils out in the next village and it was a good 12 degrees and on the river there was a really nice little hatch of Large Dark Olives.

It is often the time of year when some talk about refilling their fly boxes but there are grayling and pike to be caught, along with the small stillwaters that offer a good winter fix of fly fishing.

I have tied a few flies but can’t seem to get into the same groove as this time last year but suspect it has something to do with the lack of snow! Those I’ve tied have been mayflies and a few variations on nymph patterns that worked well last year.

It was good to be out teaching today and to meet up with brothers Alan and Brian. They both like to fish small stillwaters although Alan lives right on the banks of the Teign. He is also off to New Zealand in a few weeks time. Although his trip is business related he has managed to get a few day’s fishing on the North Island.

They are both self taught and wanted some help with their casting. They had done a really good job and it was just a case of refining a few things. This meant we could play with casts for different fishing situations whilst showing them loop control and getting the most from their rods and lines. We also played with some different fly lines so they could see the differences between short headed and long headed lines and how to get the best from them.

We also hopped down to the river to get an idea of what the differences between still and moving water fishing are.

Man, I hate my job!

 

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Fishing with friends

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

There is nothing like the company of a good friend when you are fishing. Sharing the highs, lows and adventures makes having a buddy along to share it that bit more special. As the river season for trout is over I have a little bit more time for some fishing myself. Last week I headed down the A30 to Colliford with my good friend Dave. Dave runs The Dartmoor School of Fly Fishing. I don’t think anyone knows Kennick as well or spends as much time there (although Jan might give him a run for his money!). Both he and Lee are real experts on fishing Dartmoor too but he hadn’t been down to Colliford for a few years so we thought it might be worth a look.

Colliford is one of my favourite stillwater destinations and at just under 1000 acres is always an interesting proposition with plenty of water to cover and as there are no boats you get to have a good walk too.

We pulled up and two things struck me. Firstly, the low water. This was no big surprise but the second was the white horses that the wind was whipping up that were crashing into the bank at the far side of the car park. We thought the wind would be a little lively but with the lake being perched up on Bodmin Moor it was always going to be a little worse.

Anyway, it was a day’s fishing and wind wasn’t going to get in the way. We both rigged up our 6 weights, Dave with a floater and me with an intermediate line. Floating lines are usually the norm but I like to fish a black tadpole and move it a bit and the intermediate keeps my fly a little lower in the water.

When I fish Colliford I like to get myself on the lee side of the wind as I often find fish there. I remember guiding there in conditions only slightly less windy and fishing the lee where the wind hadn’t rippled the water. The unbroken water was only a small area but it was like a bonefish flat as we walked along shin deep casting to rising fish with a dry fly

That was the plan. We fished the carpark bank frst though as the wind was on our backs here. Dave had a fish swirl at his fly almost immediately. I had a lively take from a stone and lost my fly and that was about it. We decided to head over to one of the bays and try where there might be a bit more shelter. The wind was a bit like the stuff that can blow up in NZ and Dave had to hang on to his cap as it was blown off a few times.

After a walk and a few M & M’s (they seem to have taken over from Hobnobs as they are easier to transport) we hit the new bay. It was a bit more sheltered but still a little lively. We split about 50 yards apart and had a go. Distance isn’t really an issue on the brown trout lakes as the fish can often be close in but  I like to alternate and cast one straight out and then one parallel to the bank. I did notice that there was a drop off and and so made sure that I fished my fly right in case I got a fish following right in.

I kept working the water but was watching Dave. He was having some fun spey casting his line out and firing it a good long distance. It was a pleasure to watch. I whacked one out and felt just the slightest touch and struck. The fish shook and then decided it didn’t like what was happening. I managed to get it in, get a quick photo (not a very good one) and then slipped it back.

It was that sort of day. We had to work hard for fish but felt we did ourselves justice. Dave had brought some excellent pasties and we sat on some rocks, had a breather, chatted and enjoyed it all. I guess that is what it is all about.

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

Dartmoor School of Fly Fishing Fly Fishing Kennick Lake and Guiding on Dartmoor

Devon Fly Fishing

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

It feels like the mayfly went in a blur of slashy takes and big fish!  I have been amazed by the good numbers of sizeable fish that have come out of the river as the more wary fish, that we don’t get to see a lot, shake off their normal shyness and hit the big mays as they drift down stream.

We have had plenty of fish in the 10 to 12 inch range and more than a few that have hit 13 inches only to be beaten again by a great 16 and a halfer that was caught last Friday. The sea trout have been starting to show and when guiding Richard from Hampshire for a couple of days it was great to see a pool switch on for a few moments and to watch a sea trout rise to the dry and then, just a few casts later, watch Richard’s rod get almost yanked out of his hand by a fish that we thought must have been a good sea trout. It just goes to show you don’t always have to fish at night, or when the river is coloured to catch them.

RFH works his magic

Richard is turning into quite the river angler now, putting exqusite casts into the hard-to-reach places and getting rewarded with some nice fish. I was also out with Russell and his friends – James, Charlie and Kelvin who were making the shift from stillwaters to rivers on a 2 day fishing course.

It was great fun and the guys all did really, really well. All of them caught some nice fish and a special mention has to go to Charlie for catching the season’s best fish of sixteen and a half inches!

The end of the day....

It’s always great when we have Dave from Portland join us, which he did on Friday, weaving his usual magic and troubling somereally nice fish, followed by Mike on Saturday who wanted to learn how to fish a river. I suspect the fish on the Tone will have something to fear now.

The deep concentration of Mike the river angler!

It was great to meet up with Clare, Fiona and Bev who wanted to learn to fish and, as ever, the ladies showed us guys how to make fly casting look easy!

Fiona, Clare and Bev hit the river

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Fly Fishing Devon

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Last weekend was my birthday. It is the sort of occassion that I get as excited about as I used to but I think this one was one of the best. Getting up early to a beautiful sunny morning I opened some great presents from Emma and Charlie and then sat down to a magnificent breakfast and some chill out time in the garden. We had some birthday cake for lunch and Emma suggested I hit the river to catch a few birthday trout. It sounded like a great idea and so I did just that.

The Taw

The river, although low, was looking good and I knew that grannom had been coming off just around lunchtime so I knew I was on the water at the right time.

Perfect timing!

I rigged up some bamboo and headed down stream to a favourite pool. It is really nice when you get there and the fish are just starting to rise.

A vintage Bannister rod

Judging by the rises they were at the early stage of the hatch and were taking the emerging pupa. I tied on one of my easy-tie balloon caddis and a really simple grannom pupa. I stuffed the first take but managed to get a few more out of the pool.

A Taw trout

I fished for a few hours and caught a few and had what was just about the perfect birthday!

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