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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Posts Tagged ‘Fly fishing in the westcountry’

Devon Fly Fishing 2012

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

With just under a month until the trout season kicks off here the countdown is now underway. I have been out walking the river beats checking out what needs snipping and trimming. I really enjoy this and love getting into the river for the first time in a while and know that when I am working I’ll be pleased that the low hanging branch that I snipped off will make my clients’ casts a little bit easier.

I’m not one of those who goes in with the chainsaw blazing as cutting things back a little keeps everything looking the right side of natural and also means there are some nice spots for the sea trout to hang out during the day. Keeping on top of things on a yearly basis ensures the start of each season is as I described, just a bit of trimming.

As I mentioned in the last blog I have been doing a little tying. I plan the tying around the order of the hatches so when the season ended I tied some grayling flies but also tied up flies for Large Dark Olives, both dry and nymph, and then Grannom. I have been playing with the emerger stage as this is the bit that interests the trout the most. Next up Mayflies. I have plenty of duns and spinners but again have been thinking about what will trigger the fish to hit the emerging dun. Caddis really starts to get going after the Mays so it has been balloon caddis and bullet heads. Then it is the midges. This is where I am up to and have been tying some tiny size 24s that I am really pleased with. I’ve a few terrestrials to do but having sorted the boxes this morn everything looks in good shape.

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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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Fly Fishing in Devon

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Emma and I popped out for our first trip to have a look at how the salmon were getting on now that we have at last had some serious rain. I know I am not the greatest (or even near) photographer in the world but I tried to capture a couple of photos of what we saw. Don’t think there is the need for any more words really….

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Fly Fishing in Devon

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

I can’t remember how many times I have said to myself, Emma and have probably written here too that I intended to do more fishing this year. It hasn’t played out that way but it makes those days when I have a rod in my hand even more special.

It is also great when you get to fish with people that are great company and superb fishermen. Jim Williams ticks both of those boxes for me in a big way. I speak to Jim a fair bit as I think we share the same views about life, business and fly fishing. Namely, that they should all be fun, not complicated, shrouded in mystery and not to be  taken too seriously.

Jim had fished one of the beats here a few years back but I was keen for him to catch a few fish on the Taw and then to head up to Dartmoor the next day. We met at the hotel, had some coffee and hit the river.

It is interesting to watch and learn how other people fish the water you know so well and it was great to see Jim catching fish from the off. As we both had a few days off it wasn’t about catching huge numbers but about sharing the fishing together and enjoying the whole thing. We decided to just fish some dries and see what happened. It worked just fine!

We headed back to mine where Emma had prepared a curry which we wolfed down and then we popped out to have a look for some sea trout. We dropped by the hotel to pick up Daran who I had been guiding for a few days to see if he wanted to tag along. He did and we hit the water. Daran had a good pull off of a fish and I sat back and watched the guys fish. We were all a bit tired so headed back pretty early for a nightcap at the hotel where we ended up talking fishing for a good long time.

Next day I took Jim up to Dartmoor and to a few of my favorite stretches. Once again, within minutes he was in to fish and the pattern pretty much continued. I think we only fished about 3 patterns the whole 2 days but the highlight was watching Jim pick the pocket water of a stretch I like to head to. It was great seeing him enjoy it so much. I have a feeling he’ll be back!

We both like fishing light lines and were both fishing 2wts for the couple of days. I have a new 2wt that I am over the moon with and I think it will be my main rod from now on. Jim is a huge fan of 10ft rods and fishes them almost exclusively. I think he was one of the small handful of people who were first to do so, whereas now they are a common site for me on the river. He really thinks about tackle and what he is trying to achieve with it and puts it to such good effect in both his fishing and teaching.

Jim, it was a real pleasure buddy and I can’t wait to hit the Coln with you. To read Jim’s report and much better photos on our trip click HERE.

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Lessons from Fly Fishing Part 2

Friday, July 8th, 2011

I am just back from 4 days of guiding Pam and Alan on a Dorset chalkstream. I sort of know the water from a trip in the distant past when I fished it with my good friend Ray (The Dude) a few years back.

I really like these trips on waters I am not so familiar with as it test me as a guide and fishing chalkstreams also allows me to work on the fish spotting skills which I thoroughly enjoy. It is good for a guide to do this every now and again as it gets you thinking a little more and lets you work on honing your skills on a water you might not know so well.

"nice cast Alan, this could be the one"

It can sometiimes be easy to tie on the old faithfuls that work at home but they might not do the business on a different water. I am a firm believer that a guide doesn’t have supernatural skills as to when fish are biting but they simply read and analyse the conditions and fish the water and make fly selections accordingly. Guiding is about showing your guests why you are changing your flies or why you are changing the setup a bit, not gazing into the distance and muttering something about a special feeling or saying that your big toe is throbbing and the fish are coming on the feed…well, thats my view!

Pam does the business

I want my guests to be able to see why conditions have changed and then if they are fishing alone they have a really good idea of some things that might work to tip the scales in their balance.

Another fish for Alan

Anyway, the trip was a great one and Pam and Alan, as always,  fished beautifully and caught plenty of fish.  We had a mixture of bright sunshine followed by rain on the last day but it was great fun!

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Fly Fishing websites, mags and bamboo

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Apparently the server for the site got hacked into. Sounds exciting, perhaps agents are trying to get the details of how to tie the scruffy klink…

I suspect it is more a case of someone trying to load spam selling products to enhance prowess in the sporting, or more likely, some other arena.  All the excitement! I probably shouldn’t say that as I know the web guys have not enjoyed the ride too much, reminded me of a great film that was out a few years ago called Sneakers that deals with hacking and espionage. It looks like I am going off on a wierd direction again but even this has a link with fly fishing as it stars Robert Redford and we all know his link with fly fishing. Sneakers was actually the next film he made after that fishing one.

I met up with my pal Luke the other day. He builds excellent bamboo rods and has come up with the taper of all tapers for his latest creation. It is a fast one that sort of feels familiar to a graphite rod but still has that bamboo feel to it. You could say it is the best of both worlds and I think that is just about right.  I have either the first or second of these rods and it has the ability to pick up and laydown the shortest of lines but will also throw a long one with needle pointed loops if that is your thing too. It fishes fantastically and works perfectly as a rod for someone who has grown up with graphite but would like to try bamboo. 

A lot of people think you have to buy an old rod to try bamboo but it is great to hear that there is an army of builders making brand new rods on well tested and trusted tapers of yesteryear. Luke also does this and I have one of those too but I do have to admit I am a avid fan of all things bamboo!

Pete-2

I was trying his latest prototype and was honoured to be asked.  To see Lukes wares take a look here.

The fly fishing magazine hunt goes on and I find myself popping into newsagents just to see how many fly fishing magazines they have on offer. Carrying on from the last blog I went to Exeter Station and there were none but I was really pleased to see a healthy selection in WH Smiths in Exeter the other day. They even had an American one which I ended up buying. It is always nice to get a different perspective.

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