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Pete's Weighty ( Fly Fishing ) Words

Archive for March, 2008

Double handers, friends and life in Devon

Saturday, March 29th, 2008


Well that has been a busy week but not busy enough that Mark and I managed to sneak off for a quick afternoons fishing on Tuesday. There is a great atmosphere down here at the moment helped even more by the fly fishing waifs and strays (meant endearingly guys!) who have popped in for a cuppa and a hob nob this week. Although it has been a manically busy we love that it is becoming a hang out for fishermen where we can have a breather and swap fishing stories with friends.  Paul popped in yesterday and I love our chats. He is so enthusiastic about fishing all the oppurtunities it can bring. He is now a river convert and is also relishing the challenges of the bigger waters and putting them into practice with great effect. It is great seeing anglers make a new step on the angling ladder and I suspect Paul has a few more that he wants reach!

Double handers are the new black if this week is anything to go by. I have been taking rather a lot of bookings for double handed tuition and so Bob has a busy spell coming up! This has left me holding the fort and Mark taking a chunk of the single handed stuff and thankfully despite the wind our lake is in a sheltered position so that casting is always possible.

We were really excited to see that Devon Life published an article about a day they spent with us. The really cool thing was that they got what we were all about and really enjoyed our approach to life and fishing. It is the current April edition and hopefully you will find it interesting reading. I have scanned a copy and will try to post up but due to my lack of computer skills it might take some time but if you can’t wait mail me and I’ll send a copy!

Above is a pic of Mark from earlier in the week with George…note Marks fancy footwork!!

Group Salmon Course with Bob Wellard

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Ever wanted to get to grips with a double handed rod and then put it into practice on the river?

 Bob is hosting a course on 24th and 25th May with fishing on a private beat that he knows very well. He will cover everything you are going to need for your salmon fishing career from casting to the techniques that will make the day on the river all that more enjoyable and hopefully succesful. The casting will take place down on our lakes and then you will make the short trip down to the river where everything you have learnt will be put into practice!

Bob is probably one of the most modest people I have ever met but his skill with a double handed rod (or single handed rod come to think of it!) is legendary. This will be a popular course and one not to be missed. We have priced the course attractively and included is the fishing permit, any tackle you might need and a bbq lunch.

Please contact me by e mail or call on 01566 784000 for more details.

Be prepared…

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

I don’t know if you are the same but when the weather has been iffy you sort of sit there and think shall I or shan’t I go, decide not to and then pace around for a bit and think sod it I’ll give it a go. There is no worse a feeling than getting to the river and seeing it worse than you thought but  also no better feeling when you peer over the bridge and it looks much better than you expected. It is often days like that when I fish out of my skin and have one of those real special days.

I am lucky that I have a brook a few minutes away from me that is us that is a really good indicator of the state of the main river and my beloved river Taw is just 5 minutes drive away. I find this the fastest clearing of the nearby rivers so I always head here if the weather has been unsettled. If I am guiding and the weather has been poor I often will drive down for a look the day before just to give me an idea of how things will look.I know everyone doesn’t have a nearby river so if you are heading down here for some fishing and you’re a little unsure of how the rivers are then take a look at this link as it will give you a little clue. It is a webcam on the Exe that gives you clarity and height shots.Enjoy!

Wrap up warm…

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

An early Easter makes in doubley sure that the weather will be poor. I was checking a weather site and there is apparently a chance of snow on Sunday. Mark is teaching Thursday but he is on the lake so fingers crossed .

I had someone call who wanted some river guiding on Tuesday but felt it was better to advise to postpone a month especially as he was keen to take a fish on a dry. The fish aren’t going to go anywhere and I know when I had a proper job that every moment on the river was a special one and hope we can do the same when we he comes down to see us.

Sounds like a few early season salmon have been caught and so far I have heard of 1 off of the Taw and a couple off of the Torridge.

If your fly isn’t in the water….

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

So open day comes and we have rain, mist and a rather sharp wind. What do you do when it is like this? It’s easy to knock it all on the head but its opening day and we have to mark it in some way. Mark and I decide on Colliford. If you haven’t fished Colliford it is well worth a look. Just off of the A30 it is a 911 acre brown trout fishery on Bodmin Moor. There are no boats so you need to pack light and be prepared to travel. No need for heavy gear, a 9ft 6wt will be fine and for most of the season a floating line is perfect.

We turn up and can’t make out the lake from the car park which isn’t a good sign. We sit in the truck, talk and finish off the road trip munchies we had bought and plan our strategy. So did it work? Well, have a read of Marks blog that will tell all. No mater what though, its always worth a try even when most sane people are probably inside thinking about fishing rather than doing it!


Geek in the making…

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Looks like Graham is really starting to get this casting bug thing. He tells us more about it below…

Last week I helped Pete, Bob and Mark. on their stand at the Spring Fly Fishing Show
and it became apparent how sadly addicted they are to casting! I was
introduced to Karl for the first time and he kindly gave me a lesson in the
car park despite it blowing a gale. Again no surprise in that Karl joins
the ranks of all the AAPGAI geeks in that he is a sublime caster and
excellent tutor to boot despite the occassional “what was that ?” refering
to what I believed to be a smart spey cast! I had to chuckle with all of
them for every hour or so one would quip “fancy a cast?” met with a
unanimous “yup” led to the stand being vacated with muggins here left to
hold up the fort! Towards the end of the first day I dawdled over to the
indoor pool that they had somewhat commandeered and realised they were
trying to arielise a full line that had become somewhat detached from its
backing. Each in turn would double haul and let fly diving to catch the
line before it shot out of the rings. Strange creatures these addicts!
Anyhow back home and down to my local canal to put in some more hours
finessing some of the tips I stole  off them. There is a nice wide bend
where I go and don’t get bothered with wise cracks, however, this time I
caught up.  The barges need all the bend to get round and as I was watching
one manouvering my backcast caught the front edge of one that was waiting
to come the other way! And despite using only a piece of wool seemed to
hook up! Fortunately the owner didn’t notice my predicament and to avoid
any embarassment I snapped off and slinked off home as I had no spare
material with me! Rather humbling end.

Good Hooks

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

I’m off today and as the weather has been bright (although still windy) and I’ve used it to tie a few flies for my own use this season. I’m one for small stuff and don’t usually go bigger than a size 16 and enjoy tying and then fishing 20′s. Most of last season I fished with just a black klinkhammer and it worked pretty well for me and although I like the Partridge Klinkhammer Extreme hooks I find them a little large even in size 20. I was in Crediton recently and managed to bum a cup of coffee from Howard and we got talking hooks. He happened to have a new lot in from Varivas and on closer inspection I found their 2200 range. These look as they they are perfect for klinks and I took a pack of #20′s to tie a few up. They certainly look the part and don’t appear brittle despite being so fine. I will put them to the test once the weather settles.

 On that front it doesn’t look like the rivers will be in their best state on Saturday (opening day of the river fly fishing season) and there are more showers forcast. It looks like we’ll give Colliford a go and despite being very open the wind looks like a friendly 12mph compared to what we have right now!

A few flies from earlier below, the larger ones have a larger post as I tend to use them for NZ style fishing and the wee ones are on the new hooks. I describe my flies as “rustic” but they are functional and pretty quick to tie!


Rain, rain, rain…

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

So it looks like the grand plan for a day on the river with dry flies and rising fish has been blown right out of the window! The rivers are up and in the fields and the colour of chocolate and it has been pouring this morning. The great thing about fly fishing in Devon is that we have so many other opportunities if the rivers are blown. I have been giving it some thought and reckon we will head for Colliford. Colliford is one of the 13 lakes that comes under South West Lakes Trusts management. It is also the biggest at 911 acres and a really cool place for travelling light with just a box of flies and a sandwich. It is a brown trout fishery and the tactic is to keep mobile and don’t worry about huge long casts. I usually fish there with a 5 or 6 wt rod. There is also a few very large carp that you might also encounter and with the water being clear a well presented bloodworm or buzzer might just give you a bit of a surprise!

Bob and Jax were out doing some stuff with the website yesterday leaving myself and Mark at HQ. Luckily there were a few burgers left over from Saturday so we thought it was only right we had a barbie. We did get a few funny comments from passing people as we were busily trying to keep the barbie upright in such high winds but they still tasted pretty good!


Warm up…

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Bob, Mark and I have just had a great time doing a pre season warm up for the Crediton Fly Fishing Club. We had a good turn out and a finished things off with a barbie and then some fishing. I am proud to be a memeber of the club and I have been for a while now. They are a great bunch of people and the fishing to excellent. You are only going to catch wild fish over the 6+ miles of water and there is a mixture of venues to suit all abilities.

It was great to see 3 ladies along too and they all did a great job. I always find ladies are elegant fly casters as they don’t use testosterone to propel the line out to the horizon! Alison was hauling like a star and Helen and Kirsty put quite a dent into our trout population. It was nice to see some pre season tackle purchases getting their first work out.

Having 3 lakes enabled us to cover lots of stuff and it was good to see some double handed rods in attendance that Bob weaved his magic with and passed on lots of tips. We are lucky that the lakes are pretty sheltered so the wind wasn’t as much of a problem as it could be but we covered all casting eventualities for a typical day on the river.

 We are on the final countdown until the river fly fishing season starts and I hope with a few tricks in the armoury that members leave some fish for me!


Let There Be Life

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Yesterday was a good day for lots of reasons but mainly because we had some really nice fish turn up from Milemead Fish Farm to put in our lake. We went for a mixture of browns and rainbows to keep things interesting.

Paul at Milemead knows his stuff and the quality of his fish is excellent. No stumpy tails or worn pectorals just excellent looking specimens and if they fight like they look anyone who hooks one is in for a treat.


All of the fish swam out strongly and we watched them equalise their swim bladders after coming from the confines of the tank into deeper water. Jax and I watched them being unloaded and we were planning the summer evenings after work where we’ll all have a BBQ and a bit of fishing.

Only 9 days til the rivers open down here in Devon and Mark and I have the day off and have planned our venue. We have decided to fish a dry fly whatever conditions as we thought it would be fun and we’ll see if it pays off or not. At the moment the rivers are at an OK level so we might be in with a shout….