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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Posts Tagged ‘Flyfishing Devon’

Fly Fishing in Devon

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I had always had this little fear that when the mayfly was over that the fish had feasted so well that it would take them time to get back into the swing of things again. Thankfully this has not happened and the fish have fed right the way through. Last year I seem to recall that it was black gnat that was the hatch that really got them going again but caddis and Blue Winged Olives have been the main hatches that the fish seem to be most interested in on the Taw.

Dave learns to fly fish a river

The caddis have been pretty heavy starting at around 11am and then stopping for a bit, starting again around lunchtime and then starting and stopping until evening. It has meant that it has looked like all you needed to do is tie on your favourite caddis pattern and go catch all the fish. If only fishing and come to think of it, life, were that easy. It hasn’t been though and just the slightest trickle of BWO’s has been lurking about in the background that has really got the fish going.

We always like to take a bit of time to watch the water but you really need to watch even more closely to see just the smallest of hints that tells you to think a bit more about the fly selection you make.

Interestingly we are still getting some pretty good numbers of mays coming off but the fish seem to just ignore them now. How is it they can gorge on these big flies and then just switch off of them? Is it just a case that you can get too much of a good thing?

I was lucky enough to be out guiding Paul last week and I know he has had a really busy time looking after his wife Margaret after an operation and project managing a house rennovation. He was dying for a day of fishing and so I took him out to cast a fly at a few fish. Despite not having the chance to get a fly rod in his hands for a bit he fished liked a demon and had plenty, including picking up a well earned sea trout. Really, really well done Paul!

Well done Paul!

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

Fly Fishing in Devon – Loving it!

Monday, June 20th, 2011

It feels like I have looked up and we are coming to the end of June. It has been a great season so far and it feels like there is lots more to do and fish of all sorts to be caught. One of the things I did promise was to fish a bit more this year but I just haven’t really had the chance yet but I have promised myself I’ll put that right from now on.

Glyn takes a breather...love the jacket!

I have been loving the great caddis hatches we have been having  and, as has been the case for most of the season, we are tying on a dry and it is doing the job. I have to admit that I was a little nervous of what the fishing would be like after mayfly but they still appear to be happy to feed, despite a few looking as though they wouldn’t be out of place on the oche of a darts tournament!

David works a nice pool

The rain has been welcome and I did lose a day to a heavy coloured river but it didn’t rise enough to really make the next days unfishable.

It was great to meet up with Glyn and David again and we managed some nice fish on the day. While I was with Glyn, David excitedly told me about the fish that had taken his fly and headed deep and broke him off. It might just have been another sea trout. He did console his lost fish with a really nice 11 incher though. Glyn fished the best I have seen her and her day was made by an otter swimming right past her on the river. She smartly reeled and wandered off to the next pool!

DFP christens my new net

The legend from Portland was back in town and had some unfinished business with the Taw that he put right landing a number of nice fish and giving my brand new net a good working out. Dave from Portland you were on fire!

Murky weather but the fish were still biting for Gavin

Gavin was also back for some trouting. We fished in just about every weather you could imagine but the river stayed just right and the fish were biting. He had a number of really nice fish and a new personal best of 13 inches. We almost got a photo of it but the slippery customer saw a chance and rightly went for it.

A 13incher that was a little camera shy!

My good friend Toby has a new site that has his excellent photos and words that might be of interest. Take a look Here

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Fly Fishing Devon

Monday, May 16th, 2011

It has been another great week of helping reach new milestones in their angling careers from beginners up to the experienced. There is nothing more exciting than seeing everything slot into place!

Caroline has always wanted to try fly fishing and had 2 days with us bought for her by her husband Terry. Despite never holding a fly rod before she was throwing some really nice loops in no time and had a rainbow in the freezer at the hotel to take home with her. Next day she was on the river and made the step with ease, catching a few nice Taw brown trout. Caroline re-strings violin and cello bows for a living and was intrigued to see if the skills she employs on a day to day basis would be of use in fly tying. They would be and after showing her how to tie a couple of flies we tried them out on the river and the fish thought they were pretty good too. Really well done Caroline!

Caroline plays a Taw brown on.

I had Paul down for a Spey Casting session and showing him a few casts that he can put into good effect on the Wye in the next few weeks should have the salmon a bit worried. I think he did fall in love with my switch rod though and I had to prise it out of his hands at the end of the day!

Nick had tried some still water fishing and wanted, with his Dad Rod, to learn how to tackle moving water. We covered the casts and tactics and took them down to where they put what they learnt to practice.

Nick ready to strike!

Geraldine had tackled river fishing a bit before but wanted to get all of the bases fully covered so that she can set out on even more fly fishing adventures.

Looks like a big fish Geraldine

We spent the weekend covering everything needed to maximise success and enjoyment and how well it all slottted into place. Her timing was perfect as the trout are really starting to lock on to the mayfly and were really taking them confidently. She caught some really nice fish and also had our first sea trout of the season on a French Partridge.

It was a big one!

We did the same last year and had sea trout on dry flies. I have tomorrow off  (Tuesday) and haven’t cast at fish for almost 3 weeks so am itching to get going…sea trout on dries will certainly be on the agenda!

Lastly a special mention has to go to Mark. I guided him a few weekends ago and know how much he loves the Taw. I was amazed to see him in the Hotel car park as Paul and I stopped for lunch. Apparently he had got the 9am train from Paddington and then took a train to Eggesford where he had booked in to fish for 4 hours and was then getting the train home again….Dude, you are a hard core fly fisher and worthy of the Trout Bum label!

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Fly Fish Devon

Monday, January 31st, 2011

If you read our little blog you’ll know that I have been tying like a mad man and am really starting to build up a nice stock of flies. I really want to be in a position that, come opening day, everything is set for the coming season and we have plenty of flies to show the fish.

I have also been reviewing how I carry all my flies and over the last couple of years have gone back to a fly fishing vest. It has been more necessity than any thing else as I tend to carry flies for river trout, sea trout and salmon just so that all the bases are covered and I know when I pick it up I won’t have forgotten anything. Previous to this though, for guiding on the river, I used a lanyard which carried everything I needed. I think sometimes guests were a little embarrassed as they turned up with more flies and gear than the guide, but when they see the Mothership fly box that resides in the back of my truck they feel a little more comfortable!

This year though, I am going back to the light approach and have bought an Orvis sling pack. Please don’t get this confused with sling backs which Emma tells me are a popular style of ladies shoe. No, this just fits over the shoulder and carries all you need for a day on the water. I have to say I am really pleased with it and can’t wait to try it out. The vest will be for the migratory fish so I think I am pretty well prepared.

It was good to meet up with Dave From Portland last week and see him catch his very first grayling. It is great to be there at moments like these, although he did have to work for them as it was freezing cold and the fish were glued to the bottom, but big, pink bugs did the business as ever!

DFP brings in a grayling

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Fly Fishing Devon

Monday, January 24th, 2011

I’ve been tying a few flies over the last few days. I’ve been getting ready for the hatches as they happen throughout the year. I have tied some darker parachute flies in a few sizes to cover Large Dark Olives and March Browns. I have also tied a few patterns  to cover the first of our caddis hatches, the Grannom. I don’t know if they will work or not but it will be fun seeing if they do. I tied a few last year and they seemed to work OK and I have gone for a few variations on this theme. To me, the fish seem more interested in the emergent Grannom rather than the adult sitting on the water so I have tied some that will sit in or just below the surface film.

The new flies mean I have had to do one of my favourite things – tidying the fly boxes. As a guide I don’t actually carry loads of flies when I am working. I have a box that carries all the dries and then one that carries subsurface patterns from spiders to bead nymphs and just about everything inbetween. I then keep a sort of Mothership fly box in my truck that I can replenish supplies with should I need them. I plan on travelling a little lighter this year and have made a few purchases that I’ll write about a bit later.

Pete and his first trout

It has been good seeing guests this early in the year for casting sessions, including some newcomers too. I have been watching the temperatures pretty closely as there have been times when the lake has been frozen, but other times when the fish have been going mad on the small windows where a hatch takes place. I bought a new rod last week and wanted to try it out but when we got there the lake was frozen. Nightmare…..perhaps tomorrow……

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Fly Hatches #4

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Whilst writing these I have come to the conclusion that I could have probably put the flies I have written about in slightly better order but it has been nice to just think about a hatch or a fishing situation and write about it rather than having any semblance of proper order. I’ll do my best to try and keep them a bit closer to the calender in future!

So, the next up on the list is the March Brown. This fly is one of our early upwing hatches of the season hence the name. It is a bit of a bruiser in size compared to the Large Dark Olive being about 4mm bigger but still a good 4mm smaller than the daddy of them all the Mayfly. Again like the LDO the March Brown has two tails. rhithrogena1

The nymph likes to cling to stones so when you turn one over you’ll often see them scuttle for cover. A pheasant tailed nymph will usually cover this stage of the fly with a bead head to get you down and an unweighted version fished just subsurface can get interest from the trout. I have hit quite a few hatches of these and I can usually be lucky enough to catch a good one on the Bray. I found a great little March Brown pattern from Simon at Turralls that I have used for a number of years. I usually fish a size 14 but also have them in size 16 as they are a great all rounder for olives too.

250px-ephemeroptera_on_equisetum_arvense_edit1

    The latin name is again a slightly trickier one to remember but for the record it is Rhithrogena germanica. Getting up close you’ll see the body of the fly is a really dark brown with light rings around the abdomen. If you hit one of these hatches at the right time it can make a really nice start to the fly fishing season with a dry!

I was out on the water yesterday and if it stays dry today we could be in for some fun for the opening of the trout fly fishing season. Interestingly I have noticed that the hatches of Large Dark Olives haven’t been as large as a few weeks back but with some slightly milder weather that we’ll see them get going again.

We are in the process of changing the look of the blog page so please bear with us but if you need the main site it can be found here. www.devonschoolofflyfishing.com