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Pete's Weighty ( Fly Fishing ) Words

Archive for May, 2008

Always worth a go….

Saturday, May 31st, 2008


 I popped down to the Taw and had a look today. The water was up and coloured and had some speed to it. I am lucky the river is only a few minutes drive away and although it wouldn’t have mattered too much I really wanted to have a quick hour of fishing. To make it more special I had Charlie, my daughter, with me. She is 16 and fly fishing for her isn’t in the top ten of cool things despite her old man trying to make her think otherwise! I wasn’t going to miss this chance to spend some time on the water with her and she offered to bring the video camera and take a few shots.

I rigged up with a mayhammer and a flash back pheasant tail tied 3ft off of the dry fly. As the water was coloured (we only had 1ft of visibilty) I used a bigger dry than normal in the hopes it might drag a fish up to take a look. It became apparent that you had to work tight in to the bank in any pockets of slack water as it was moving far too fast in the main lanes. 2 quick takes to the dry (which I missed) and then a landed fish had me taking the nymph off. A small trickle of mayflies helped my cause and we did see the odd splashy rise to them. The dry was doing a great job and although probably a tiny bit too big for some of the fish it was what they wanted. We didn’t stay on the river for long as it rained again but it was great to fish at a challenging time and was rewarding to catch fish off of the top when the books might have suggested some heavy gear might be a better bet. I guess thats why I’ll never be a competitive fisherman as it is all about having fun!

Anyway, rather than reading about it have a look at it as it happened by clicking here

More of the same….

Friday, May 30th, 2008

I was supposed to be on the Taw today but alas the rain has meant that I have a day off. Mike popped in yesterday as he was interested in one of our rods (it turned out 2!) and it turned out during the phone conversation that we had met before and had done some fly casting together previously. He is really keen and asked me what time I get to work. When I said to him 7.30am he said he see me then! Thats the sort of talk I like and we were down on the lake chucking a few lines before even our trout in the lake had woken up!

Coming from Cornwall he is into throwing flies for salty stuff and as a result is very interested in distance casting. We messed around with different line and rod combos and had a really good time. Below is a shot of Mike throwing a long one!

Bob was teaching on the Dart yesterday on a piece of water he hadn’t seen before. He was rather taken by it!

He had a nice message from Sean who was one of the people on his course last Saturday and a really nice call from Ian who was also there..

Hi Bob

just to say thanks again for a great day on Saturday-learnt some new things and plenty of ideas to work on. Managed 3 sea trout after you left- biggest just over 2lb. Will definitely be down again!




Video links

Pete and Mark on the Dart

James fishing

Hope you enjoy!

Depends where you are fishing!

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

I was laying in bed and heard the rain start at about 5.30 this morning. I am writing this at 6.30pm and it has just stopped. I had my truck loaded and had planned to stay on the river after work and do some fly fishing as there are plenty of salmon and sea trout around. Sometimes it doesn’t always play out the way you hope and I had to make the call to Richard at 8am from the office and call off our day on the river. I am starting to feel sorry for Richard as it looks like the weather gods have decided that he isn’t going to catch a trout from the river on a dry fly just yet! We are re-planning and I am sure it is only a matter of time. This meant I was at work already and had plenty to catch up on so it wasn’t so bad but I’d rather have been on the river!

Mark was also teaching on the lake and was with 13 year old James. I had my video camera with me and so I popped down to see how they were getting on and to take a few pics. I have spent plenty of time teaching with Mark but it was a real pleasure to watch him in action and watching the video makes me proud to be part of such a great team. He was fantastic with James and was constantly passing on information and tips to him and I know James is hooked now!

Mark, James and Cethin, his grandfather, were due to have lunch down at the lake but the rain brought them up so Bob, Jax and myself joined them. It was good to all sit down and talk fishing!

Anyway, enough of me talking about it take a look at how well James did and when he caught his first fish. In between using the camcorder I kept it under my jacket which meant it steamed up when I took it out just as James hooked his first fish….sorry James!!  Click here to see James catch a few 


Bob,Jax,Mark,Cethin and James all tuck into lunch at SFFS HQ!

Kind words….

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

It is always really nice to see someone go off at the end of the day having learnt loads but having had a good time and be it an existing fisherman (or woman) who now has something that will now help get a few extra fish on the bank or a newcomer to fly fishing who has left enthused and ready to embark on a new pastime. We keep in touch with everybody and it is cool to hear how things have gone and if some of the things we have shown people are working…

Below is a message from Colin, who along with David, wanted to learn how to tackle their stretch of the Otter with a bit more confidence. I am so pleased it looks like it is working. Well done Colin!!

Hi Pete, thank you for the most enlightening morning for David and myself. Lots of people often have the skills, but few have a natural ability and  enthusiasm to teach their subject in an easy to understand way. You have  that ability along with an easy-going manner that puts people at ease  enabling them to learn and progress. Both David and I learnt and understood so much that we now both feel cap   able of casting in most circumstances. I still can't Double Haul but I have  to say that I haven't needed it on the Otter yet ! David says that it really was a morning well spent and I agree  wholeheartedly with him. So once again thanks for all you taught us and the manner with which you  did it, you have enhanced our ability, enjoyment and experience whilst  fishing. Kind regards Colin

If you haven’t seen this already it is a day Mark and I spent on the Dart, it is worth a view just for watching me doing an impression of a jaquzzi! click here 

Mark has put a new blog up and as ever is an interesting and amusing read!

26th May- Moving pictures and plenty of tourists…

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Now, it is admission time, I’m not too bad with a fly rod but a video camera is another matter! Mark and I popped up to the Moors last week and did a spot of fly fishing with 2 and 3 wt rods and small dry flies. The fishing was good and we did our best to capture it on video so click here for a peek. It is a bit rough and ready but I sort of like it that way rather than a polished Ridley Scott version…perhaps that’s just an excuse. Hope you enjoy it and as ever we are trying to be a little bit different….hope you enjoy!

 Bob hosted his salmon course and it went down really well which was also aided by a 12lber! He promised he took his camera so hopefully some pics up soon. The team seem to be doing really well on the bit we guide on the Tamar with Champo having a customer returning a good 14lber and a few 2 1/2lb sea trout last week. I am guiding on there with Richard for trout on Weds weather permitting…

Boxing clever…

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Sometimes, I think part of the attraction of fly fishing is the equipment that you can buy; especially the gadgets. I list fly boxes in here and although not strictly a gadget I can spend many happy hours sorting through a fly box.

I sort my fly boxes between stillwater and river and within the stillwater box I keep them divided between barbed and debarbed and then subsections such as buzzers, lures etc. You can happily spend an hour or two sorting and arranging and priming them ready for service.

It is funny though as there must be some sort of comfort factor in knowing all the little slots are filled just in case you are caught short when fishing but when sorting out I do thin out a few patterns that I have either tied and don’t like the look of or just have never used them. This will leave me room to tie up a few extra flies and allow me to fill any gaps in the slots!

The flies I “relegate” live on a pile on my fly tying table perhaps waiting for the chance to be selected again. This does happen from time to time but they only last a season to be replaced again by the next cast offs.

Once the job is done it is satisfying to see the arranged flies in groups all lined up and ready for action. If I am teaching the next time out it doesn’t usually take long before the usual state of chaos is restored. Come to think of it most of the flies I use are stuck on my fly patch for most of the season so do I really need to sort the boxes?!


 No fly fishing lessons tomorrow for Mark and I so we are off and we are going fishing. I was going to go and fish with Ray but he has to shoot off a little early and part of the fun is staying as late as possible and enjoy the last few moments of the day before the long drive home so it is going to be down here somewhere. We’ll decide where to go tomorrow morning and let the day unfold as it happens.

Sounds like the mayflies are a little later than normal this year on the chalkstreams but Toby called last night and said there were a few about on a river down here before he went sea trouting. I haven’t heard from him today so not sure how he got on but he promised me a call if he connected with something.

Star in the making…

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Despite heavy rain the Devon County Show was really good fun and a worthwhile visit. It was great to meet up with friends old and new and have a bit of a cast as well as talk fishing of course!

Sunday was great fun as I met up with Luke Westaway after we had to cancel a fly fishing lesson previously due to snow! Being only 10 I was amazed at how quickly he picked up fly casting and how much knowledge he already has of our sport. He did himself proud and caught 3 fish and took one of them home for his tea. His father, Simon, is a very keen fisherman too and I think it will only be a matter of time before Luke is joing him on plenty more of his fishing trips. Really, really well done Luke we all look forward to hearing of your future fishing exploits!

I noticed we have 2 carp in our trout lake and with things warming up that they are moving around near the surface. I have set myself the challenge of staking one with a proper dry fly and will keep you in touch with how it goes…

Perfect timing!

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Yesterday saw Colin and David pop down for some fly casting tuition. They are lucky enough to have access to a stretch of the Otter which sounds rather mouth watering. They were after a tune up and some tips to help sneak a few extra fish out of some of the trickier holes on their stretch and they did a fine job. It was great to see how keen they were to add new tricks to their fishing and even the sight of constantly rising fish on our lake did little to put them off! We then headed off to HQ for a quick barbie which was very civilised.


We had a meeting this morning and I then shot up to the Bray to look for my camera but no signs of it and so I have ordered a new one which will no doubt mean that the original one will turn up!

I have been sitting here writing this and have just recieved a really exciting call from Bob. He was doing some tuition on the Tamar and he decided it was time for his client to put it into practice. It sounds like a salmon thought it was a good job too as a 9lb bar of silver was released. Great news! Lets hope it is the same for the up coming salmon fishing course as we have a full house the weekend after next!


Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Dear Peter,
Just wanted to thank you for a very enjoyable and instructive day last Saturday. I had a lovely time on the river a lot of which was due to your advice, great enthusiasm and patience!! Definitely want to do it again!
best wishes

I had the pleasure of guiding Gavin on Saturday on the Bray. He has done a fair bit on the chalkstreams but only a little bit down here and so with a river in good shape and pretty good weather we set off. We started at the bottom of the beat and although we rose a few fish we noticed a lot were refusing or following the fly without taking. We decided to hop out and move upstream a bit where the water moves through a little quicker and the fish didn’t have so long to think about whether to hit the fly or not. This seemed to work pretty well and Gavin was soon getting into fish. He realised that the fish take a whole lot quicker down here than those on the chalkstreams but as is often the case once you have hooked and landed one you never look back!

Gavin was also keen to learn some watercraft and where and how to locate likely areas. After talking him through a few pools I asked him to talk me through how he would fish the next pool and he did so and it was an A* moment! We also looked at rise forms and how to interpret them and select your fly accordingly.

He fished like a star and had some nice fish in the 10,11 and 12 inch range and even hooked and played a sea trout for a few moments but sadly came off. It was really exciting to see it leave its hidey hole and come out and hit us!

The downside is that I had some nice photos of Gavin but sadly I seem to have lost or misplaced my camera that was given to me as a birthday present just a few weeks ago. Jax thinks I have had a senior moment for which I have thanked her greatly! I only realised when Bob took Tony and his 3 friends for some two handed casting yesterday and I asked him to take some photos…nightmare!

I was teaching Colin and David today and managed to dig out an old camera so normal service is resumed.

In the ring of the rise….

Friday, May 9th, 2008

I had a really good day on the river guiding Jo today, the conditions were spot on and the fish were poppin! We started off hanging a nymph under our dry but seeing risers had me cutting it off pretty quickly. The stretch of the Culm we were on is a long one with lush weed growth and plenty of insect life. We had a wealth of hatches today with various caddis, light and dark olives, hawthorns and we even spotted a lone mayfly!

 We covered rising fish and Jo did a great job hitting just about every fish that took a liking to our offering. The interesting thing was that we had great success with sighted fish but casting blind into likely looking holes didn’t work as well as we might have hoped. It seemed the fish in the pools were either on or off and no inbetween. Thankfully there were plenty who were “on”!

I am on another river again with Gavin tomorrow and hope it will be as good!

Our good friend from AAPGAI, Lee, has just come in from a very successful trip on Coniston chasing pike…well done mate!